How do sparkling wine producers adopt a sub-appellation? Evidence from an exploratory study on heroic Prosecco Superiore Rive

Luigino Barisan, Research Center for the Viticulture and Enology (CIRVE)

Luigi Galletto, University of Padua, Research Center for the Viticulture and Enology

This paper investigates why wineries producing Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Protected Denomination of Origin (CVPP) wines decided to adopt the sub-appellation (SA) “Rive” as a way to increase the value of their wines.

We estimated both a logistic and a linear regression to explain Rive SA firms’ choices and market growth drivers, respectively. By using data gathered from CVPP producers, we divided wineries into two groups, those that have adopted the Rive SA and those that have not. By means of a stepwise procedure, we categorized factors that were likely to explain the Rive SA choice within a set of structural, marketing and wine tourism-related variables.

The results showed that structural drivers such as the human capital of younger producers, pressure tank sizes, competitive positioning in the market and in the field of wine tourism hospitality, and involvement in ad hoc promotional activities (i.e., Primavera del Prosecco) have the greatest effects on the choice of the Rive SA. The synergistic effects of cellar door sales, small firm sizes and specific foreign markets (i.e., the United Kingdom and the United States) have emerged, on the other hand, as vital factors in the growth of the Rive SA in terms of market share.

The adoption of the Rive SA may play an important role in supporting and valuing the heroic viticulture-based economy and may help the CVPP Tutelary Consortium to appropriately undertake promotional strategies to differentiate wines and improve competitiveness. This could have positive effects on wine tourism, hospitality and winery visits in light of the recent recognition of the CVPP as the 55th Italian UNESCO World Heritage site.


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