Do they have a bubble? Italy set to block Croatia as Prosecco dispute ends

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Do they have a bubble? Italy set to block Croatia as Prosecco dispute ends


Italy has said it will protest to the European Commission as Croatia seeks EU-protected label status for a sweet white wine that bears a name similar to ‘Prosecco’.

The move proposed by Rome comes after Brussels agreed to consider a request from Croatia to classify its Prosek wine as a Recognized Protected Label (PDO).

Italian prosecco producers are outraged as they believe the name would confuse consumers.

Prosecco is a dry Italian white wine, usually sparkling or sparkling.

Italian Agriculture Minister Stefano Patuanelli told RAI on Wednesday that the entire Italian government would oppose the request “in an adequate and compact manner.”

Croatia claims that its historic amber-colored dessert wine has always been called Prosek and that there is no risk that consumers will confuse it with Italian Prosecco.

Italy, renowned for its cuisine and food products, has often fought against recognition of “Italian-sounding” items such as
Parmesan or Parma ham, which they say are just simple imitations of the authentic Italian product.

Image:
Bottles of locally made Prosek, not to be confused with Prosecco, are seen on a wine rack in southern Croatia

Luca Zaia, governor of the northern Veneto region, which is a major producer of Prosecco, called Croatia’s candidacy “an absolute disgrace” and demanded vigorous opposition from the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Mr Zaia said: “They are stealing an important tag from our country, it’s like they want to take Ferrari away. “

In agreeing to consider Croatia’s request for PDO status for Prosek, the European Commission said the similar sound of a name, or ‘disambiguation’, was not always sufficient reason for a request be rejected.

“Two homonymous terms may coexist under certain conditions”, provided that there is no confusion for the consumer, European Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojiciechowski said on Tuesday in response to a complaint from the right-wing Italian League party.

Italy had hoped that a European Court of Justice ruling last week would help its case for Prosek to be denied PDO status.

The court ruled that the PDO label should be granted to protect products when “the use of a name creates, in the mind of a
average European consumer who is reasonably informed and reasonably attentive and informed, a sufficiently clear and direct link between this name and the PDO ”.

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