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Wine column: How does a New Zealand winery make Italian Prosecco?

Prosecco is having a moment.

Sales of the Italian-style bubbly are on the upswing (in fact, they've doubled in the past decade) and more and more wineries -- no matter where they are in the world -- are hopping on the sparkling wine bandwagon.

Kim Crawford, the veritable New Zealand winery, is the latest, making Kim Crawford Prosecco ($24) in the Prosecco region of northern Italy, which is the birthplace and namesake of the famous bubblies.

Now, you may ask, how does a New Zealand winery make Italian Prosecco?

It defies the appellation and terroir constructs of the wine world in which a New Zealand brand makes wines in New Zealand and an Okanagan brand makes wine in the Okanagan, etc.

But really, there's nothing stopping Kim Crawford from lending its name to product-of-Italy Prosecco.

</who>From left, Kim Crawford Prosecco ($24), which is made in Italy, and three wines made in New Zealand -- 2022 Sauvignon Blanc ($23), 2022 Rose ($23) and 2020 Pinot Noir ($26).

Kim Crawford wines are exported internationally and are well-known and well-respected all over the world.

So, it's using its name recognition and reputation to sell Prosecco -- a global-citizen approach to brand extension.

Some people may pick up the Kim Crawford Prosecco, excited that the brand they love is now making bubbly, and not know or not care one way or the other if it's made in New Zealand or Italy.

Others may not like the new-fangled idea of a New Zealand winery crossing borders and making Italian Prosecco.

Those people should get over it.

Good wine is good wine -- and we should drink it.

So, quaff the Kim Crawford Prosecco for its fruity and refreshing profile of crispy pear and exotic mango amid a myriad of fine bubbles.

Just to blow your mind, Kim Crawford is now also making a Rose in France.

But, it's not available in BC, yet.

Speaking of Kim Crawford also gives us the opportunity to spotlight three of its New Zealand-made bottles.

The 2022 Sauvignon Blanc ($23) is quintessential New Zealand-style Sauv Blanc with heady aromas and flavours of passionfruit and gooseberry.

Kim Crawford's version is the top-selling New Zealand wine in North America and the top-selling Sauvignon Blanc in North America.

Kim Crawford 2022 Rose ($23) is made in New Zealand and has a classic strawberries-and-cream profile.

The 2020 Pinot Noir ($26) has aromas and flavours of bright cherry with some baking spices to give it complexity.

Summerland's Light Up the Vines kicks off tonight. Photo by Stephanie Seaton.

Wine events galore

This weekend is the unofficial kick-off to the wine-themed holiday season.

There are numerous events in the Okanagan touting how wine makes the season merry and bright.

- The 13th annual Light Up the Vines in Summerland spans four evenings -- tonight, tomorrow, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 from 5 to 9 pm -- featuring Christmas lights on grape vines, wine tastings at wineries, live music and a market in a winter-wonderland downtown capped off with fireworks.

- From tonight through Jan. 7, the Festival of Trees at Mission Hill Family Estate in West Kelowna will showcase a plethora of elaborately decorated Christmas trees as part of a fundraiser for BC Children's Hospital Foundation.

- The South Okanagan Fire & Ice Festival is back today through Dec. 3 with Oliver Light Up and fireworks tonight, an Indigenous artisan market tomorrow afternoon at the Nk'Mip Cultural Centre and the Fire & Ice Carnival at Spirit Ridge Resort tomorrow night.

All the details and other event listings at www.southokanaganfireandice.com.

- 90-minute Winter Wine & Food Experiences are on tap at Haywire Winery in Summerland tomorrow night, Dec. 1 and 2 and Dec. 8 and 9.

- Holidays at Hester Creek Estate Winery in Oliver includes mulled wine today, tomorrow and Sunday and Dec. 1, 2 and 3; holiday cooking class dinners Dec. 14, 15 and 16; and a New Year's Eve Happy Hour, 3 to 6 pm on Dec. 31.

Details at www.hestercreek.com.

- Naramata Bench Winterfest is today and tomorrow, 3 to 7 pm, with wineries lit up in Christmas lights and offering tastings.

Steve MacNaull is a NowMedia Group reporter, Okanagan wine lover and Canadian Wine Scholar. Reach him at [email protected]. His wine column appears every Friday afternoon in this space.



Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].




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