Italy in Prosecco war with Croatia
Italy's Prosecco producers claim that Prošek's similar-sounding name could confuse consumers and would risk weakening the image of the sparkling Italian drink.
The Italian agriculture minister Stefano Patuanelli has now waded into the debate, establishing a technical group to fight any decision by Brussels to classify Prošek as a recognised protected label (PDO).
Under the application rules, Italy has two months to file objections, with Patuanelli stressing that the EU had made "no definitive decision" yet regarding the registration of the label.
However he warned that "Italy can and must object, at a European level, to defend its product of absolute excellence."
Italy's main farming group Coldiretti is also on the warpath, describing the application by Croatia as "an attack against Made in Italy."
It claims the move could "ruin the historic record for world prosecco exports, which rose 35 per cent in the first six months of 2021", with Prosecco production set to reach 700 million bottles this year - "the biggest wine brand in the world". ■