I have written several posts on Prosecco and the risks for the Prosecco brand if the producers and consortium were continuing to allow cheap Prosecco to flood the market and suddenly I found an article on an Italian paper saying that historic Prosecco producers, the ones in the DOCG area, want to get rid of the “Prosecco” name on their labels and only use “Valdobbiadene” to try and differentiate their Prosecco from the cheaper versions even though I have seen plenty of cheap Valdobbiadene Prosecco. It looks like my predictions are starting to become reality.
Has the prosecco bubble started to crack? If what I read is true, then it has, however, is this the right move, is creating another brand, Valdobbiadene, the solution to cheap and tasteless prosecco? It took several years for Prosecco to become the product and the brand that we all know, the most sold sparkling wine in the world, and creating a new, alternative brand won’t be easy.
The DOCG’s Prosecco producers not only will need to overcome the break up and departure from the Prosecco brand, but also incur the costs, both financial and not, of creating a new brand at the same time as other sparkling wines are trying to create their own space eroding the Prosecco brand, without considering that the conditions that have allowed Prosecco to establish itself, the financial recession and consumers tightening their spending, are not there anymore and the sparkling wine category has become a very crowded market.
And whilst this seems to be only a rash decision, and it is very likely that it will never happen, it shows an internal discussion and feud within the Prosecco and DOCG’s producers, confirming the short term strategy followed and the errors made by the producers and the Consortium, probably run by people lacking the necessary expertise and knowledge, in managing the Prosecco brand and success over the course of the years creating a, now, non financial viable situation.
Thinking that Prosecco would have been untouchable and continued to grow at the same rate whilst allowing more and more vines to be planted, satisfying and fuelling the demand at the same time, it was arrogant. The consortium should have known that by allowing more vines to be planted and more Prosecco to be produced, price and quality would have suffered, pushing wine drinkers away and damaging the brand. If only the consortium had read my posts, they would have it seen coming, Prosecco is not immune from the economic law of demand. Only a few months ago, the same Prosecco’s producers were excited about the new Prosecco Rose’
appellation and are now talking about creating a new, alternative brand.
This is nothing new for Italian wine, if we look at history, plenty of wines have made all the way to the top only to shortly after disappear. The last forty years are full of wines that came and went and are now trying to rebuild their brands, costing them twice as much it cost the first time, with very limited success. Italian producers and consortiums seem to be characterised by a short term vision, being incapable and unable of creating a long term strategy. Despite the mistakes made are always the same and there are plenty of case study to look at, consortiums and individual producers are just busy riding the wave, until there are no more waves to ride.