Prosecco promotes sustainability in wine production

In recent years, Prosecco, made mainly from the Glera grape, has attracted the international media glare as it consolidated its phenomenal success around the world, capturing a large share of the sparkling wine market. The ransom of success has included the environmental impact in the northern region of Veneto that is home to the Prosecco DOC production as vineyards greatly expanded to meet demand. Between 2009 and 2015, production increased by 260%.  In August 2014, when flooding in the area claimed four lives, some observers blamed winegrowers for having destabilized steep slopes and diminished their ability to absorb heavy rainfall.

A new organisation focusing on sustainability

Recent studies have concluded that 3% of the local population sees viticulture as a threat rather than an opportunity. To address such criticism, the Prosecco DOC Consortium in Treviso has put into place a new organisation focusing on sustainability named Equalitas to carry out a new standard for wine production known as SOPT (Sustainability of the Winemaking Production Chain: Organizations, Producers, and Territories). The consortium now plans on putting into place a certification that will ultimately not only guarantee the sustainability of individual wines but also the sustainability of the entire Prosecco denomination, in order to go beyond the regulations that are currently imposed by the law. Prosecco DOC president Stefano Zanette has stated with regards to the current debate over environmental concerns and vineyard treatments: ” Knowing what the Prosecco producers will have to face, we are eliminating the main molecules under debate, Glyphosate, Folpet and Mancozeb, in the Wine Handbook 2017. Even if permitted by law, these elements seem to have become a source of concern for both local residents and consumers. I am committed to ensuring that the ban of these active ingredients is binding, i.e. mandatory for all producers in our denomination.”