Delle Venezie DOC debuts second vintage
February 20, 2019
This was the title of the new DOC Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie Consortium press release shouting to the wine trade that the new DOC’s sales are going well.
Italian DOC wines have reached the astonishing number of 330, they were 329 before the latest addition, and consumers probably know only a handful of them, and I don’t think they really care or are even aware of whether a wine is DOC or not when purchasing a bottle.
There is no question that sales would have gone well for the new wine, at least the way they accounted for. The Consortium is made of producers that were already producing and therefore selling Pinot Grigio before the DOC was created, sales of Pinot Grigio were already taking place, the same wine is now sold as Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC instead of just Pinot Grigio, there has simply been a shift from one wine to another.
Instead of looking at the sales, the Consortium should look at the DOC awareness, but the numbers won't look as good as the sales and they need to look good at the eyes of the government and producers, the new DOC should only be celebrated once consumers become aware of the denomination and choose a Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC over a non DOC, and I am sorry to be blunt, but it will never happen.
The DOC is just another extra cost for the producers that will be either reflected on the price of the wine or absorbed by them, either way, it just doesn’t make sense for a few better paid jobs in the Consortium. The new DOC will be the 22nd for Pinot Grigio alone between Veneto, Trentino and Friuli, imagine the confusion for consumers when choosing a bottle of Pinot Grigio, they will end up buying a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Pinot Grigio producers, following the Prosecco success since it became DOC and DOCG, are trying to, this is my interpretation, copy it, but it won't work. Pinot Grigio was massive before Prosecco came and Italian producers did not do anything to protect the wine. Pinot Grigio was suddenly produced all over the world with plenty of poorly made wines. Pinot Grigio has now been replaced by Sauvignon Blanc, too many poor wines and consumers have moved on, it is not Pinot Grigio’s time anymore, and adding another DOC to the already many existing is just a waste of money and resources and it will not make ultimately any difference to the total sales of the wine.
And DOC Delle Venezie or not, there is still no guarantee that consumers will get a quality wine. Italy doesn’t need any more DOC or DOCG, it only needs more controls to ensure that the wines it produces are good and worth their money, but this is impossible until Consortium are made by members with completely different visions and philosophies, with small producers and big bottlers sitting together, requiring compromises to function, until then, it will be impossible to protect consumers.
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