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EU Prošek Ban Angers Croatian Winemakers – “Vino Dalmato” Replacement Term?


Croatia Week reported yesterday about the decision from the European Union to ban the use of the term ‘Prošek’, the famous traditional southern Dalmatian sweet dessert wine.

From 1 July the term “Prošek” will no longer be able to be used in Croatia because the EU believe that the word is too similar to the Italian word “Prosecco”. The absurdity of the decision is highlighted by the fact that the two drinks are not even similar. Prosecco is a sparkling wine while Prošek is a sweet wine and they share no common grapes between them and the news has angered Croatian winemakers who were only notified of the news just weeks ahead of Croatia’s EU entry.

“‘It is an established brand that has been produced in Dalmatia for centuries. They (Ministry of Agriculture) are supposed to inform us on time. I think one of the negotiators did not do a good job, we are surprised and taken aback, “says multiple award-winning Prošek winemaker Andro Tomic from the island of Hvar to Tportal.

Tportal reports that Croatia’s Ministry of Agriculture refuses to explain why they have left it this late to explain the decision, and also why the European Commission requested Croatia to withdraw its application to protect the term “Prošek” when they requested permission to use the traditional term. Prošek will not be allowed to be sold in shops or restaurants in Croatia or abroad, and they will not even be allowed to sell current stock once 1 July passes. Tportal says that the term “Vino Dalmato” is a possible replacement.


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  1. F**K ME! EC requested croatia withdraw its request????

  2. European Union can go get f&*&^%%d!!

  3. Prosecco is a sparkling wine…Prosek is not…However, the revenue for Prosecco is enoromous – we are gulping it down as a new fad here in the U.S. Prosek is not. 🙁

  4. Yet another thing the public were not aware about in the referendum on voting on the EU?! Croatia should ban the world using electricty since it was a Croat-born invention:)

  5. The “Private” Central Bank and fat cat politicans the only winners out of this EU failure..one day its prosek they take, next savings out of your bank account like Cyprus. Democratic my arse.

  6. Wine Grapes (2012), Jancis Robinson et al., p 853-854.

    Prosecco – The dominant, rather neutral grape for prosecco sparkling wine, probably Istrian. Misleadingly named Glera for commercialy protective reasons.

    …Comparison of DNA profiles show that Prosecco is identical to Teran Bijeli (bijeli is Croatian for “white”), previously considered to be a rare variety native to the Istra (Istria) region of Croatia (Maletić et. al. 1999), and also identical to Briška Glera annd Števerjana…
    As part of the promotion of Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene to DOCG status and the enlargement of Prosecco DOC zone in 2009, the Prosecco Consorzio set in motion an official name change so that this principal grape variety is known as Glera, its supposed Friulian synonym, and Prosecco is reserved for designation of origin, effectively preventing producers from other regions and countries taking advantage of the name Prosecco to designate any old sparkling wine. The enlargement of Prosecco DOC area includes the village of the same name near Trieste, the variety’s alleged birthplace. This amendment is both confusing and misleading: Glera is a generic name applied to several distinct varieties in the province of Trieste, and recent studies have shown that Glera in fact usually refers to PROSECCO LUNGO and much less frequently to Prosecco (Tondo) and other local varieties…
    By reconstructing the genetic relationship among Croatian grapes, Maletić et al. (1999) showed that Prosecco (under the name of Teran Bijeli) occupies the key role in relation to all other Croatian grapes, and appears to be related to Žilavka from Bosnia-Herzegovina. This genetic study supports an Istrian origin of Prosecco. As a consequence, it is likely that the village of Prosecco in the province of Trieste was only a stopover of this variety on its way from Istria to Friuli, and that its original name was Teran Bijeli.

  7. I just heard that the EU is to ban Croatia from using the word “Zadar” as its too close to the fashion label ‘Zara’.

  8. Dear Croatian friends, don’t take it bad. In Italy they were obliged to give up the Tocai name because of a similar sounding (but very different) hungarian Tokaj. So the wine was re-christened Friulano, and it still works well. I am personally convinced that between a sparkling Prosecco and and a sweet Prosek there should be no confusion whatsoever, but please accept this advice, re-name Prosek and make a huge ad campaign. In Italy your Prosek it’s perfectly unknown, but now I would willingly try it…and do not blame the EU, it’s your own negociators who are to blame for this!!! And, incidentally, it’s not compulsory to join EU…

    • But the Italian “Tocai” WAS an imitation of the Hungarian “Tokaj”. It wasn’t just about the similar sound of the word. A traditional name is a cultural product and should be protected. “Friulano” or “Vino Dalmato” are sterile solutions which don’t say anything about the history of the wine in question.

  9. Laoi Primorac Ó Murchú

    GD – you might as well be talking to the wall. So many people here love to complain without taking responsibility for their own past actions. “The Government is to blame” but who put them there? “The EU is to blame” but the country voted to join. Croatia, and the rest of the region, is teetering on full bankruptcy yet high ranking business interests try to keep foreign investment from entering the market. Things will change in time, and hopefully sooner rather than later. It’s a beautiful country, but far too many people at the top are living in their own fantasy world, and far too many of the older generation are still too afraid to speak their own mind.

  10. I am curious: Did the EU commission get a complaint from Prosecco wine makers that Prošek might make the consumer be confused?
    If the wine is not even the same type of wine, there is no confusion!
    I think the solution to use Dalmatino vino as a replacement is not a good one since you have many fine Dalmation wines like Plavac Mali -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plavac_Mali.
    I think Croatian wines are still not easy to find in wine shops accross Europe, and that is a shame. There are a lot of Croatian wines which are top notch and fine wines, and is getting known in the culinairy world of gastronomy.

  11. ….and so it begins