Italy Wins Against Australia in Prosecco Dispute

After a victory at the Appeals Court, Australia can no longer export its Prosecco to Singapore.

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In Singapore, Prosecco can only originate from Italy (Photo: DOC Prosecco Consortium)
In Singapore, Prosecco can only originate from Italy (Photo: DOC Prosecco Consortium)

The Prosecco DOC Consortium has won a significant legal battle against the Australian producer association, Australian Grape and Wine Inc. (AGWI), after four years of contention. The Appeals Court in Singapore has irrevocably ruled that only wine originating from its Italian region can be called Prosecco in Singapore.

Relentless opponents

In 2019, the Italians applied for the registration of their geographical indication with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), which was granted. AGWI contested this, but their objection was dismissed. Subsequently, AGWI appealed and in 2022 received a favorable ruling. The court had concluded that the registration should be rejected because it could mislead consumers into believing that all Prosecco wines only come from the specified region in Italy, even though some could also originate from Australia.

The Consortium appealed this decision to the Appeals Court, where five judges decided on the case. The Australian producers failed to prove that the registration of Prosecco as a geographical origin could confuse the consumer in Singapore. The verdict also considered the import figures of Australian Prosecco and Prosecco DOP, as well as the renaming of the Prosecco grape variety to Glera on August 1, 2009.

Prosecco from Italy has been sold in Singapore since 2015, and in 2018, 387,100 liters were imported. Australian Proseccos have been available since 2011, but the country imported only 9,657 liters in 2018. In Singapore, Australia's producer association lost against the Consortium, similar to their loss in China at the end of 2021, where the Italians had fought for trademark protection for seven years.


As part of the new free trade agreement between the European Union and New Zealand the southern hemisphere nation now recognises Prosecco as a protected geographical indication and will phase out the use of the term for NZ or imported wines from anywhere outside the Italian region. Veronika Crecelius reports.

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Major impact on international trade

The decision in Singapore is significant for the entire field of geographical indications, as the Appeals Court in this country has for the first time made a decision about the protection of geographical indications. The European Commission, the representation of the European Commission in Singapore, and the Italian Embassy in Singapore significantly supported the Consortium in the legal dispute. The protection applies to all three Prosecco origins, DOC and the two DOCGs Conegliano Valdobbiadene and Asolo. Although Australia can continue to produce Prosecco following the breakdown of trade agreement negotiations between Australia and the EU, exporting it is increasingly complicated. VC


After publicly interviewing Kylie Minogue at ProWein, Robert Joseph had the chance to talk to her, one-on-one, about the background to a wine and wine cocktail range, launched in 2020 with Paul Schaafsma of Benchmark Drinks, that has sold 8m bottles in under three years.

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