The Prosecco On Tap Conundrum!

The Italian Government passed an EU Directive in 2009 that made it illegal to sell Prosecco on tap. Up until that point there had been a gradual decline in quality of Prosecco, with wineries mixing other grape varieties and still calling their product Prosecco. It was even being sold in cans! Similar to Champagne, the Prosecco Consorzio (a group made up of the big Prosecco producers) stipulated that Prosecco had to be grown in a certain region (an area near Venice), with fixed yields per hectare, using the Glera grape (Glera is the official name of the Prosecco grape before it has had the denomination applied). It also stated that it could only be produced in a bottle.

Until that point a number of companies, including the market leaders Frizzenti, had been importing and supplying kegs of Prosecco to bars and retaurants across the UK. On-tap has real benefits for both the trade and consumer. It’s quick, the product stays fresh and customers can buy a glass without having to buy a whole bottle.

The change is confusing and a number of outlets still sell their on tap fizzy wine as Prosecco not knowing even that they are breaking the law. Prosecco has become Synonymous for anything sparkling. A bit like hoover. As a result the Italian authorities have been visiting a number of UK outlets issuing warning letters and heavy fines if they don’t change how they sell the product. The problem for bars owners is that no one knows what Glera is, so what are they supposed to call this product?

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