Italy Approves Prosecco DOC Rosé
It won’t be here for National Rosé Day 2020 (June 13), but rosé Prosecco is coming soon!
The “pinkening” of Prosecco is a natural evolution. For over a decade, two of the most important wine trends have been the rise of rosé and the appreciation of Prosecco. Consumers may have mistaken Italian pink sparkling wine as rosé Prosecco, but it’s not a thing… yet! Just because it sparkles and comes from Italy doesn’t make it Prosecco. The arrival of rosé Prosecco is slated for production with this year’s harvest, so expect to see it on the market beginning January 2021.
The rules of the controlled designation of origin (DOC) for Prosecco did not allow pink versions of Italy’s signature sparkling wine. After years of lobbying, the Prosecco DOC Consortium is delighted that the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry has finally approved updated rules authorizing the production of Prosecco DOC Rosé. Producers will have to follow very specific rules to label Prosecco DOC as rosé. Prosecco Superiore DOCGs will not be affected by the change in regulations.
Rosécco, as some are already dubbing it, must still be produced from a majority of white Glera grapes, and can include up to 15% of Pinot Noir which can now be fermented with its skins to achieve color. All labels must state the vintage, or Millesimato, and at least 85% of the grapes must have been harvested from that year. Non-vintage bottlings are not allowed. The final product can range from Brut Nature (extremely dry) to Extra Dry (slightly sweet) and must be made using the Charmat method with a minimum of 60 days undergoing secondary fermentation in a pressurized tank.
According to Luca Giavi, executive director of the Prosecco DOC Consortium, the new rosé will be pale pink with a persistent foam. It will have all the freshness and fruitiness that Prosecco lovers enjoy, but with Pinot Noir’s strawberry flavor and tannins. Stefano Zanette, consortium president, acknowledged the announcement couldn’t have come at a better time for the Italian wine industry as sales have dipped significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a cap on production in 2020. The DOC predicts that rosé production could reach 30 million bottles per year.
Worries about quality and messaging in an already crowded market abound, but ready or not, rosé Prosecco is preparing for prime time!
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