Italian prosecco is in the process of re-branding itself as the "softer, lighter" bubbly, not to mention cheaper. Production has already increased thirty-fold over the past four decades, with plans for greater distribution particularly to emerging wine markets like China, where marketing drives the majority of sales, relegating prosecco to champagne wannabe status.
Hence Italy’s support of reserving the name prosecco for wine produced only within the region, a formerly Slovenian area that’s been growing grapes since the 1500s, to up the exclusivity factor. Oh, and then there was that little Paris Hilton promo. Italian winemakers disparaged the pairing (she was, after all, promoting an Austrian-crafted sparkling wine in a can), but Paris certainly knows a thing or two about aspirational status.