Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG’s success is confirmed by the figures for 2018
As it celebrates the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Denomination, the Producers’ Consortium proudly announces the results achieved in the last year: figures that reveal a region that is solid in economic terms and in the forefront with regard to environmental and social sustainability: 3.8% growth in value compared to 2017, sales in Italy up 6.3% compared to 2017, double-figure growth in new markets: China and Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, and the Russian Federation
Today at Vinitaly, on the Veneto Region’s stand, the economic figures for 2018 in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Denomination were presented. Data processing was carried out by the Research Centre for the District of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, with the scientific coordination of the Centre for Research in Viticulture and Oenology of Padua University.
The Research Centre’s analysis demonstrates that the results for which the Denomination has been working – in various spheres – have now been achieved.
The products placed on the market in 2018 were from the 2017 harvest which, because of the climatic conditions, was smaller than that of the previous vintage. This had an influence on an increase in the price of grapes and naturally on the supply of wine, whose production witnessed a slight reduction (of around 1%) compensated, though, by a substantial increase in value (up 3.8%) (Figure 1 in the attachment). Overall production in the Denomination found a new balance, with less wine being destined to the still and frizzante categories in favour of those of the Rive (up 27.9% in volume and up 43.8% in value) and Superiore di Cartizze (up 2.7% in volume and up 9.3% in value), while the production of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore remained substantially stable (Figure 2 in the attachment).
“The results that we are presenting confirm that the quality route that we have traced and are following is leading us to the goal we have set ourselves” declares Innocente Nardi, President of the Producers’ Consortium for Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco D.O.C.G.. “In spite of the price increase, Italians continue to choose Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, because they recognise the value of our product. The growth in sales on the home market (+6.3%) and of the corresponding value (+12.2%) is the response that we expected to the long, hard work we have put in to promote the excellence of a product that originates from a small, extremely rugged area, in which the difficulty in tending the vines is compensated for by the savoir faire and passion of every one of the growers”. Innocente Nardi continues: “To safeguard the quality of the product, it is no longer possible to think about increasing production. The Producers’ Consortium’s commitment towards working together with the local administrations has led to us saying “NO to glyphosate”: a decision that has already been enforceable since January 2019 and which has also seen the 15 Municipal Governments in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene area as protagonists of a unique, innovative change. We are a sort of laboratory for environmental sustainability that is unmatched anywhere in Europe, and indeed we are the largest agricultural district in this continent to have already banned glyphosate”.
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore’s success has also been consolidated by reaching out to new markets or increasing the wine’s presence in others.
“The Denomination’s state of health can also be deduced by the vivacity with which it takes on new markets. The new frontiers of success for Conegliano Valdobbiadene are: China and Hong Kong (+36.6% in volume and 57% in value); Australia and New Zealand (+18.5% in volume and a similar growth in value); and
the Russian Federation (+14.8% in volume and 17.2% in value). The number of workers in the wine sector continues to grow, particularly in the vineyards (+7%) (Figure 3 in the attachment), giving proof of a greater attention to the quality of the grapes”, affirms Vasco Boatto, in charge of the District’s Research Centre.
Meanwhile, it can be noted that the countries that have seen a reduction in consignments are mainly the well-established export markets: in other words, those in which the product already has a long history of being present in large quantities. Probably, these markets are no longer being supplied with products that were originally sold at less remunerative prices, without however compromising Conegliano Valdobbiadene’s importance in those countries. Exceptions, though, are Benelux (up 40.7% in value) and Canada (up 2.2%). These are markets that have witnessed substantial growth trends in recent years, which the producers have deemed it right to continue to support.
The evolution of supply in the Italian market
In Italy, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore displayed significant growth in value (+7.5%) and in volume (+4.9%). This increase was clearly greater than the growth in the overall sparkling wine market, which was up 4.7% in value and up 1.2% in volume (Figure 4 in the attachment). In more detail, the supermarket sector grew substantially: in fact, there was an increase in the performance of the central purchasing offices, which were up by 10.1% in volume and by 13.3% in value. Cellar door sales also grew, both in volume (+11.1%) and in value (+12%). In the traditional channels of wine shops and HORECA, there was increasing space for higher-priced wines: indeed the growth in value terms was considerable (13.3%) compared to growth in volume of 3.1% (Figure 5 in the attachment).
Changes to the production regulations
The appointment at Vinitaly was also an opportunity to present the new changes to the production regulations that will be valid from 2019. The review of these regulations had the objective of raising the profile of the product, particularly with regard to the Rive category. These sub-zones will have the areas that are set apart for their production modified in favour of the most arduous terrains. Also as regards the Rive wines, there will be an obligation for this type to be put on the market from 1st March of the year following the harvest. Defining the production characteristics for the Rive selections in a more specific manner responds to the need to obtain a product of superior quality.
Another important modification is the insertion of two new categories. The first, “Sui lieviti” (“On the lees”), is the definition that we will find on the label of all the sparkling wines that have a second fermentation in bottle. This type reflects both the product’s historical past and the depth of the tradition of making sparkling wines in this area. The second, “Extra Brut”, is a response to the demands of consumers whose taste is moving towards increasingly lower sugar levels.