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Looking back on the 2010s, two of the top wine trends were increased appreciation for both Prosecco and rosé. However, though the two may live together in our memory, technically, they were never allowed to mingle: The rules of the controlled designation of origin (DOC) for Prosecco forbade pink versions of the region’s signature sparkling drink… that is, until now.
Last week, the Prosecco DOC Consortium announced that its updated rules for production—the most exciting of which is the introduction of Prosecco DOC Rosé—were unanimously approved by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies’ National Wine Committee. If it feels like pink Prosecco is a long time coming, you’re kind of right: The Consortium has been building hype for the idea since at least 2018.
But don’t rush out to the liquor store yet. The official announcement explains, “Sales will be allowed from the 1st of January after the harvest.” To clarify, that means January 2021—so, not until next year. And from a bureaucratic perspective, the official new rules are still awaiting their “definitive publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.” Regardless, Stefano Zanette, president of the Prosecco DOC Consortium, was already handing out kudos, thanking “all those who have contributed to obtaining this important result, in a moment particularly tough for the wine industry.”
As for the wine itself, Prosecco Rosé must be still be produced from a majority of white Glera grapes, but also will included 10 to 15 percent of the red Pinot Nero (aka Pinot Noir) variety to achieve its color—which should be “pink more or less intense, shining, and with a persistent foam,” according to the Consortium’s announcement. The final product can range “from Brut Nature to Extra Dry,” and all labels will have to state the word “Millesimato” (which essentially means “vintage”) and the vintage itself, with a requirement that at least 85 percent of the grapes must have been harvested from that year.
And when Prosecco Rosé does arrive, the Consortium expects it to be popular: They’re anticipating total production to be “up to 30 million bottles per year.” The DOC says 486 million bottles of Prosecco were made last year—meaning, moving forward, about one in every 16 bottles would be pink.