Australian Government Wages Wine War With E U Bureaucrats Who Want Us To Stop Describing Bubbly

Posted: Jan 13, 2020

The Australian government is waging war with European bureaucrats who want us to stop describing bubbly as Prosecco.

The European Union is trying to stop Australian winemakers using the term because they say Prosecco is only produced in northern Italy.

But the federal government has thrown money at university researchers in an effort to keep Australian winemakers in competition with their European counterparts.

Until 2009 the word Prosecco was used to describe wine produced from a certain type of grape (stock image)

Previously, the government gave $100,000 to Melbourne's Monash University to investigate the legality of restricting the term based on geography.

Until 2009 the word Prosecco was used to describe wine produced from a certain type of grape.

But the EU is fighting to have this changed, instead establishing the word 'Prosecco' to describe a type of wine made in Northern Italy.

Australia's Prosecco exports are worth $60 million annually and are predicted to rise to $500 million over the next decade.

In making the funding announcement Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan was scathing of the legitimacy of the claims by the European Union.

'Our research into geographic indications for wine will ensure local wine makers aren't disadvantaged by foreign producers making spurious claims for the exclusive use of wine names, such as prosecco,' Minister Tehan said.

One of the main producers for the sparkling drink in Australia are the Victorian-based 'Brown Brothers', who have enjoyed a 50 per cent growth in Prosecco sales year-on-year.

The company Director described the initiative as 'sneaky' when the announcement was first made.

He also suggested the war over naming rights was driven by commercial convenience due to a rise in popularity of the drink over the past decade.

The fight over naming rights started 12 months ago as partof a push by the European Union to establish new trade deals with Italy and Greece.

Along with Prosecco, the EU wants to retain exclusive naming rights for feta, parmesan and mozzarella.

A likely compromise would see products still labelled by the country of origin of their ingredients, such as 'Australian prosecco' or 'Australian feta'.

By Louise Ayling 
January 12, 2020
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