Nothing gets people more up in arms than the word “shortage.” This year, rumors are already starting to swirl of a potential Prosecco shortage before the bottles have even been released.
In discussing our impending doom, Munchies citied two sources who claim that increased Prosecco popularity combined with poor harvests are creating your typical supply and demand problems. Back in February, Italy 24 reported that the DOC Association authorized its president to allow producers to dip into 150,000 hectoliters of stored wine, a procedure that’s only allowed “to prevent demand and prices from being negatively affected by a sharp decline in production” – a move deemed necessary after poor weather led to significantly reduced harvests.
Speaking specifically to the poor harvest, The Drinks Business quoted exporter Roberto Cremonese who said, “Last year’s harvest was very poor, and down by up to 50% in some parts, so there is a very real possibility of a global shortage. We’ll find out how big the problem is in August when the brokers release their stock. At the moment we don’t know how much Prosecco they’re holding on to.”
At the heart of the Prosecco problem is that true “Prosecco” can only be made in designated regions, the Prosecco DOCG and DOC. “Prosecco is like Champagne in that we need to be able to supply everybody,” said Cremonese. But the irony is that Prosecco’s recent popularity arose specifically after people decided to move away from pricier Champagne to try to save a few bucks. That high demand for cheaper sparkling wine is exactly what could drive Prosecco price increases now.
Thus, the good news: If there really is a Prosecco shortage and prices do go sky high, we may all have to just go back to drinking Champagne. Oh darn.