Massachusetts Beverage Business



The laws of bubbly making are nothing if not stringent. France has its Champagne Spain its Cava and Germany its . . . Prosecco? A German law court has ruled that sparkling wine produced in Germany but made from Italian Prosecco grapes can be labeled as “Italian”. If the basic wine is imported from Italy into Germany with the label IGT, (Indicazione Geographica Tipica) denoting the place of origin, that notation still applies after it has been processed into sparkling wine on German soil, the administrative court in Trier, Germany ruled. What ultimately decided the matter was where the unprocessed wine originated from, and not where the sparkling wine was actually made. The ruling enables two Trier-based wine cellars to continue producing and selling sparkling wine classified as “Vino frizzante IGT” since it is manufactured from wine imported from Italy. The two producers had been barred by the Rhineland-Palatinate state wine inspector, who had argued that IGT was a geographical label of origin and could not apply to products made outside the country of origin. The ruling was based on European Union law which says that sparkling wines produced in the EU are allowed to carry a reference to their geographic origin. Since the quality of the final product depended in part on the original wine used, the court deemed it appropriate to apply the geographical designation to the origin of the unprocessed wine. Hence, German Prosecco.

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