Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. And in an interview at last week’s Wine Paris, the Consorzio’s director, Diego Tomasi, says coming up with a shorter name is a major goal for 2024.

“Our name is long and not easy to remember,” he says. “So now we are discussing one name – maybe Conegliano Valdobbiadene, maybe CV  – we will find a solution before the end of 2024.”

He says at the moment, wines from the Northern Italian region can be called Conegliano, or Valdobbiadene, or Conegliano Valdobbiadene, or Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, for example. “It’s a mess – there is confusion,” he says, “so we are looking to just select one.”

The word ‘prosecco’ also presents a question, believes Tomasi, as some producers have moved the word to the back label, preferring instead to highlight their brand or terroir.

Tomasi describes using the word ‘prosecco’ as a “big, big challenge for the future”.

“We cannot forget prosecco because it opens the way,” he explains. “We have another necessity now – to separate Conegliano Valdobbiadene from the normal prosecco.

“And then to put prosecco on the back label, maybe not so big,” he adds.

He says the organisation has tried to bolster its identity in terms of tradition, quality and microclimate.

For example, at next week’s SITT Tastings in London and Manchester, Sarah Abbott MW will present a masterclass focused on terroir, called: Rive and Cartizze: the terroirs of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG.

Tomasi says promoting the Conegliano Valdobbiadene geographical area  is key – “it’s the best asset that we have”, he says, adding that biodiversity in the region is important, with more than 50% of the area covered by forest. The region also became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019.

SUSTAINABILITY

Tomasi also talks about the next generation of winemakers in the region and the importance of sustainability, with reducing the use of pesticides top of the agenda.

“We started 12 years ago with our protocol to avoid some chemical compounds and to use only low impact chemicals,” he explains, as he starts to talk about new a initiative to make disease control easier.

“Before when you want to spray the vines, you have to go in with a tractor or do it by hand,” he says. “We have a new project, a sort of irrigation but to spray the vines. You can use this system almost every day – just with water and a small amount of compound, you can defend and protect the grapes and leaves.

“We have started the spray system project on four different sites this year. You spray more often but it costs less, and it’s not as time consuming or as labour intensive.”

Further down the road, Tomasi also wants to produce only DOCG wines from the region. At the moment, both DOC and DOCG wines are permitted.

But that is a task that comes with its own challenges and perhaps one for after the region’s name has been established.

Overall, Tomasi is excited about Conegliano Valdobbiadene’s prospects in the UK market – a market which accounted for some 10 million bottles from the region in 2022.