C roatian producers are pushing the European Union to recognise the term Prošek as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
Italian Prosecco producers, however, are up in arms – claiming the name is too close their own sparkling drink.
As a result, the Italian authorities are again – for a second time – preparing to oppose the EU granting of PDO status for Prošek.
Brussels is still considering the renewed application by Croatia, with the first attempt in 2013 having been turned down after Italian protests.
Luca Zaia, governor of key Prosecco producing region Veneto, said: “They are stealing an important label from our country.”
Croatia, however, says its sweet flavoured wine is centuries old and has always been known as Prošek.
The Dalmatian region of Croatia, where the dessert wine is produced, was ruled by Venice between 1420 and 1797. That, say Prošek producers, has led to similarities between the two languages.
While the Prošek producers argue that the public will be able to distinguish between the two wine labels, the Prosecco makers say it will only lead to confusion.
The Italian wine makers have the support of their government, with Rome’s agriculture minister Stefano Patuanelli insisting the Croatian attempt to win PDO status will be opposed.
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