Prosecco DOC Goes Beyond Organic on Their Journey to Become 100% Sustainable

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Consortium President Zanette explains how Prosecco DOC will go beyond organic by no longer just concentrating efforts on the environment, but on economic and social sustainability as well.

We want to ensure that in the future we are able to say that we are a fully sustainable territory.

At the headquarters of the Prosecco DOC Consortium in Treviso, Equalitas (a newly created Italian organization focused on sustainability in wine production) recently presented its newest sustainability standard, SOPT (Sustainability of the Winemaking Production Chain: Organizations, Producers, and Territories). Stefano Zanette, President of the Prosecco DOC Consortium, said, “The journey of the Prosecco DOC denomination started in 2009 with a production of about 945,000 hl. In only 6 years, we have had an increase of 260%, leading to a total production of 3,400,000 hl.”

He went on to declare, “It is now time to intensify our investment in the sustainability of the territory. We need to go beyond what regulations are currently imposed by the law, which, in our opinion, are not enough.”

Equalitas offers winemakers the SOPT standard – an opportunity to operate in a way that is economically sound, socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable. Its founding partners include some of the most authoritative figures in Italian wine production. Equalitas has also developed a scientific committee led by renowned Italian sustainability academic Attilio Scienza, who was chosen to ensure the operations have a scientific foundation and value.

Maria Chiara Ferrarese, the technical director of Equalitas explains, “The SOPT standard of Equalitas focuses on a holistic vision of sustainability. Wineries, producers and territories who meet their environmental, social, and economic requirements can become certified. Although Italy is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to sustainability practices, it has never had a large enough voice to be a model for the rest of Europe. Thanks to Equalitas, Italy now has a voice and the proper tools to make its sustainability efforts and laws recognizable to institutions and international markets.”

“In addition to respecting the air, water, and earth, this system ensures that production methods receive a social and economic certification as well,” says Zanette. “This has been the most challenging aspect of creating this certification system. We want to ensure that in the future we are able to say that we are a fully sustainable territory. Including an economic analysis allows us the ability to generate income and jobs to help sustain the local economies. Environmental regulations allow us to maintain the quality of natural resources and develop new ways to produce more. The social certification provides a way to monitor workplace conditions, consumer safety, and product quality control. Equalitas also requires proper communication practices, which regulate wineries’ efforts at sharing information with their stakeholders.”

Zanette ends by saying, “This is not a special regulation, but rather a better process toward creating a tangible record for wine sustainability in Italy and, eventually, the globe…. As the Prosecco Consortium, we are also willing to award incentives to those who decide to pursue the certification.”

Zanette does not dismiss the possibility that the SOPT certification could eventually become mandatory in order for wineries to utilize the Prosecco DOC name.

About The Prosecco DOC Consortium:
Prosecco was granted the Controlled Designation of Origin status on July 17th, 2009, and the Prosecco DOC Consortium (Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco) was created on November 19th of the same year to coordinate and manage the Prosecco DOC. The organization unites the different groups of manufacturers—wineries, individual and associated vine-growers, still wine and sparkling wine producers—to ensure the designation continues to grow and that the production regulations are complied with. For more information, visit

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Victoria Cooper
Colangelo & Partners
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