We can all stop panicking guys – a Prosecco shortage is officially off the cards.
Prosecco producers have been warning for a year now that a global shortage of our favourite fizz is imminent, worrying us all that the worst had actually happened and that we had somehow managed to drink Italy out of Prosecco.
Supermarkets had even started stocking up on Cava and other Prosecco alternatives en masse in a pre-summer panic. But it was recently announced that all of that fuss was for nothing. Prosecco is geographically very limited and its intense popularity (its sales coming in at £365 million last year, overtaking that of Champagne) was thought to be proving too much for the tiny region of Italy where the fizz is produced.
‘Last year’s harvest was very poor, and down by up to 50% in some parts, so there’s a very real possibility of a global shortage,’ Roberto Cremonese told the drinks business at the London Wine Fair last year. ‘We’ll find out how big the problem is when the brokers release their stock. At the moment we don’t know how much Prosecco they’re holding on to’.
Well, the facts are in and it turns out that we’re in the clear – Luca Giavi, director general of Prosecco DOC industry body refuting the claims, stating ‘there is no possibility of drinking all of this quantity’, adding that ‘there will be more than enough bottles to deal with the demand in the UK.’
The Consortium for the protection of Prosecco DOC has just released new official figures that show not only a record 2015 harvest but also an annual growth in levels of production. According to the report, 4.5 million quintals of grapes were harvested in 2015 – that roughly amounts to 3.4 million hectolitres of wine (450 million bottles). We’re not harvesting experts – but it looks like there will be more than enough Prosecco to go around – good news for us thirsty Brits who apparently buy one in every five bottles produced, making the UK the leading export market for Prosecco.
‘Prosecco is a product of the land and so it will always be subject to Mother Nature’ explained Stefano Zanette, President of the Consortium, ‘but given the changeable climate throughout 2015, the numbers are very encouraging. We’re estimating being able to produce 450 million bottles of wine from the harvest, which is an additional 144 million from the previous year.’
What a relief, summer is officially back on.