Italy clamps down on Prosecco copies

Italy clamps down on Prosecco copies

Italy's Prosecco wine council has praised the seizure by Italian fraud police of more than 14,000 bottles of Rosecco, the Italian wine brand owned by UK retailer Marks & Spencer.

Italian authorities this week confiscated 14,400 bottles of Rosecco, which was bound for the UK.

Italian newspaper reports said the wine was seized because it contravened the protected name status of Prosecco in the EU.

Prosecco's ruling council today (19 February) waded into the row by publicly backing the move.

"The Consorzio was very satisfied with the job that the ICQRF di Conegliano (Italian agricultural products and repression of fraud) was able to do in stopping this illegal brand from leaving Italy," said council director Giancarlo Vettorello.

The new EU legislation, which came into force on 1 August 2009, states that Prosecco is exclusively the name of a DOC and DOCG wine produced in a designated area and no longer the name of a grape variety.

"We hope that the case of ‘Rosecco’ will enlighten UK retailers to the full and wide reaching implications of the new EU law,” said Vettorello.

Marks & Spencer could be reached for comment.