Italy and Croatia Renew Feud Over Wines

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An attempt in 2013 to have the trademark registered was blocked by Italy arguing that the name prosek was too similar to prosecco. Croatia’s own winemakers whilst agreeing that the names are similar argue that consumers can distinguish between the two.

Prošek is made using dried grapes and originated in the Dalmatia region which between 1420 and 1797 was ruled by the Republic of Venice, the makers of prošek contend that their wines dates back more than 2,000 years, whilst pointing out that Prosecco was not grown in Italy until the 1930’s when the regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia were officially marked out as Italy’s prosecco producing areas.  

Ivo Duboković, a wine producer in Jelsa on the island of Hvar said “So think about it. The capital of my island used to be Venice, so this is almost like waging a battle against Venetians, and clearly, you are going to find similarities between the two languages. Ask any foreigner I’m sure that 99% of people would understand that they are two different words. As for the product, Prošek is similar to vin santo and prosecco is similar to white wine with fizzy water”.

Italy was granted by the EU in 2009 a denomination of controlled origin (DOC) which means the name can be used only if authorised by the Treviso based producers of prosecco who argues that prosecco has its own identity that cannot be confused at all, whilst Coldiretti, Italy’s main farmers association, said that the move by Croatia was “an attack against Made in Italy”.     

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