23 November 2022

King Valley winemakers meet with Trade Minister and MPs to make case for Prosecco protection

Leading winemakers from the King Valley travelled to Canberra this week to meet with the Trade Minister to make the case to protect the use of the name Prosecco in free trade negotiations with the European Union.

The European Union is seeking to place Geographic Indication protection on Prosecco, which Australian winemakers say would devastate their industry.

Representatives from Brown Brothers, Pizzini Wines and Dal Zotto Wines in the King Valley held a series of meetings in Parliament House to ensure the Government and Opposition were aware of the importance of retaining the use of the name Prosecco.

The delegation met with Trade Minister Don Farrell, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, Shadow Trade Minister Kevin Hogan and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, as well as other Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum.

Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines facilitated the meetings and was part of the meeting with the Trade Minister.

“Prosecco is vital to the economy in the King Valley and the wine industry is vital to Indi,” Dr Haines said.

More than half of Australia’s Prosecco comes from the King Valley, where there are 15 wineries and a further 18 independent grape growers. Since 2018 the area has experienced a 20% year on year growth in Prosecco grape production.

“Otto Dal Zotto planted the first Prosecco vines in Australia, bringing the wine he grew up with in Valdobbiadene in Italy to the King Valley. Since then, Prosecco has grown to be worth $205 million in sales alone each year for the Australian economy,” Dr Haines said.

“Otto said to me Prosecco is like his family, that the name is so important to him, and we must fight for it, and that is what we are doing.”

Dr Haines has met with Australia’s lead trade negotiators and Minister Farrell in recent months to make the case for her constituents.

“If Geographic Indication was granted on Prosecco as part of the Free Trade Agreement it would have a devastating impact on grape growers and wine makers in the King Valley and across Australia,” she said.

“I’m doing everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

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