Germany stop for the first time the use of the term “secco” as imitation of Prosecco.



Hard times in Germany for wines that show the label misrepresentations of the word Prosecco. An important ruling came in these days by the Deutsche Patent-und Markenamt (the German Patent and Trademark Office), which welcomed the suggestion by the Consorzi Prosecco DOC and Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore docg, to put an end to many imitations of the name of this wine.

In fact , the Prosecco wine since 2009 can only be produced in the north-east of Italy. A first result of great importance, which shows that the route taken by the Consorzio is the right one. Earlier this year, the two main consorzi – with the support of Mipaaf (Ministero delle politiche agricole alimentare e forestali) – have teamed up to protect and defend the image of Prosecco and Prosecco Superiore.

An important result

The result obtained in Germany is particularly important. It is, in fact, the first market for the three denominations DOC Prosecco, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG and Asolo DOCG. Until 2009 this country could bottle Prosecco, but ability failed with the introduction of Doc. This ban has led to the proliferation of phenomena of counterfeit of DO Prosecco, such as the tendency to label sparkling wines using the ending “secco”, an  obvious mispronunciation of the name Prosecco or the brand Neosecco. Monitoring activities carried out by the Legal Consortium, took a first important result: it led to the decision of the office German trademark to declare “non-recordable the brand Neosecco as the word “dry” is a mere abbreviation of the word Prosecco “.

The sentence, according to Innocente Nardi president of the Consorzio DOCG Conegliano Valdobbiadene:  “ In Germany this is an epic result, which is important not only for the German market but also to deter all the imitators. In recent years, we were committed to protect our name and record the brand of the  DOCG,  and to support  lobbying with other consortia and institutions, in order to prevent the marketing of products which imitate and misuse of the name Prosecco.”

A single legal entity

“ Time is ripe – adds Mr. Stefano Zanette president of Prosecco DOC, – so that our consortia are pursuing vigorously the actions of protection needed to ensure a future for our denominations. It is clear that much also depends of our companies, which must include a proper and consistent communication, and contribute to this activity. Despite the fact that the spirit of the rule of community law arises to protect the good faith of consumers, we can’t  ensure guarantees for  the entire production of the DOCG“.

This new year, the three consorzi involved in Prosecco DO, will constitute a single legal entity, capable of defending a genuine Italian heritage on  international markets and block imitation of the denomination in Europe and in the world. The actions that will be undertaken by the new structure will cover all major countries. It will aim to the contrast of imitations and the trademark registration of the denominations and a strong lobbying by the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, the Ministry and the EU, which aims to make understand the importance of protecting this iconic product of Italy.

Henry Borzi