It has been widely reported that, in recent years, the UK may have reached its peak in terms of overall Prosecco sales.
However, Sandro Bottega, owner and managing director of Italian winery and distillery Bottega Spa, quashed those claims – affirming the UK is set to enter a new era of Prosecco premiumisation.
The Morning Advertiser sat down with Bottega at a vertical tasting event – where different vintages of the same wine type from the same winery are tested – last Thursday (13 June), where he shared his thoughts on the future of Prosecco and elaborated on why its bubble hasn’t burst just yet.
After category growth slowed to the smallest increase in sales since 2011, reports suggest Prosecco may have fallen out of favour with UK consumers.
But Bottega – who says he aspires to become the Leonardo da Vinci of the wine world – refuted the claims, stating that the sparkling wine will “continue to thrive” with consumers looking for higher quality products “more than ever before”.
“Prosecco is one of the UK’s most popular drinks, which can in part be attributed to the price some producers are selling it for,” explained Bottega.
“But it is also an extraordinary wine that owes its value to its limited availability within the region.
“At Bottega, we are not favourable to the expansion of the cultivation area, which places a focus on quantity over quality.
“Instead, we see growth in the category coming from a new era of premiumisation.”
Quality over quantity
Bottega also expressed his concerns about the potential expansion plans for the cultivation area within the Italian Veneto region, affirming that this could destroy Prosecco’s positive image, which has been built on decades of hard work and traditional winemaking practices.
He added Bottega has responded to consumer demand by expanding its premium Prosecco offering, with a focus on quality over quantity.
Examples of these wines include the brand’s new Bottega Ancestral and its elegant Bottega Gold.
This premium focus has also been reflected in the brand’s wider range, in particular with the launch of the Bottega Rose Gold, which has, according to Bottega, has seen double-digit growth as pink-hued wines continue to surge in popularity in the UK.
He concluded: “We have, therefore, focused our attention on the launch of a new, higher standard range of wines that highlight the typicality of the grape and the unique characteristics that can only be found in quality Prosecco.”
Founded in 1977, the company is best known for its Bottega Gold, whose gold bottles are made using an elaborate production process that takes five years to perfect.