Val d’Oca, a major Prosecco cooperative with over 600 members in the heart of Valdobbiadene, has projected a promising 2023 vintage, despite an anticipated 5-10% dip in production levels compared to the previous year.
The floods and hailstorm that ravaged most of growing regions in Veneto will reduce overall production slightly but so far Val d’Oca, a heavy weight in Prosecco DOCG region which counts 60% of its total production from the esteemed wine region, is bullish on 2023 quality.
“We expect a lower production compared to last year by 5 to 10%. But due to the mild months of May and July, the grapes have higher acidity and a higher aromatic profile,” says Laura Dassie, export manager of Val d’Oca.
“The harvest will start a week or 10 days later than last year, thanks to the mild months of May and July. 2023 will be a good harvest in terms of quality,” she ascertains.
This winery’s revelation comes amidst a year of recovering global market conditions, with Val d’Oca marking an impressive 11% rise in turnover last year over 2021, reaching €60.8 million, and spreading its footprint to 58 countries.
The local Italian market was the strongest for the historic producer during the pandemic, thanks to the cooperative’s strong distribution in off-trade channels, Dassie added, and the brand ranks as the No.1 sparkling wine in Norway’s monopoly stores.
Nevertheless, the shadows of market challenges loom, particularly in Asia, where the pandemic has drastically reshaped consumption patterns. The winery described the performance in Asia as notably subdued, marked by halted purchases and extended closures of crucial hospitality establishments during the pandemic. The turbulence has especially been felt in China, where the retreat of expatriates, key buyers of wines, marked a steep decline in sales.
However, markets such as Thailand are showing signs of recovery, fuelled by the revival of tourism, signalling potential renewal in the sector, says Dassie.
The current market challenges in Asia are hardly the first that the cooperative has withstood and triumphed.
Born from the union of 129 families of farmers in 1952, in the shadow of a world reeling from the aftermath of the Second World War, Val d’Oca emerged during a time of healing, when the war had left the vineyards abandoned and the village of Valdobbiadene in a state of disrepair.
Now standing as the 43rd Italian wine company in turnover, Val d’Oca is a living testament to the enduring spirit of cooperation and unwavering pursuit of quality, with 600 members and 1,051.5 hectares of vineyards under its stewardship across the three appellations of Prosecco.
While mass-produced Prosecco DOC emerges from sprawling plains that span two regions and nine provinces, Prosecco DOCG emerges from hillside vineyards across 15 communes within this specialized zone.
Val d’Oca stands as a distinguished entity in the Prosecco DOCG arena, with approximately 60% of its production deriving from this renowned region. The winery’s premium cuvées epitomize the essence of high-caliber Prosecco, originating from the revered subzones of Cartizze and the steep “Rives” nestled within DOCG Valdobbiadene. It meticulously crafts a limited production Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG and a vintage-dated Millesimato Brut, reflections of the winery’s commitment to quality and excellence.
Amongst the 43 “Rives”—the vernacular term for the distinctive hillsides within the DOCG—Val d’Oca elaborates three singular Rive wines: Rive di Colbertaldo, Rive di San Pietro di Barbozza, and Rive di Santo Stefano.
Each wine, primarily composed of 85% Glera coupled with select blends, undergoes an extended ageing period on lees, subsequently transitioning to autoclaves. This meticulous process bestows each wine with additional body and texture, enhancing the harmony and richness inherent in each bottle.
For more information, visit the winery website here.