During our conversations with farmers and bottlers in the Prosecco region of Italy, a persistent sense of animosity regarding a particular topic was observed. Specifically, these local farmers and producers inquired whether we knew about the “boycott Zonin wines” movement and sought our opinion.
The “Boycott Zonin Wines” movement emerged following allegations against Zonin Wines, an Italian wine company, and its former president, Gianni Zonin. In 2015, news outlets like Reuters and the Financial Times reported financial improprieties associated with the company, including misuse of company funds and misrepresentation of financial data. This controversy was particularly significant in the Prosecco region, where the repercussions were acutely felt.
Gianni Zonin also served as the president of Banca Popolare di Vicenza from 1996 to 2015. The bank’s collapse under his leadership resulted in a profound financial crisis, erasing 6.5 billion euros in savings and affecting 118,000 clients, many of whom were small shareholders and local farmers in Italy’s industrial northeast.
These farmers are integral to the Prosecco wine industry, a sector that prides itself on quality and tradition, values exemplified by brands such as Bella Principessa Prosecco and Signorina Prosecco.
The movement gained further attention due to Zonin Wines’ production of Kylie Minogue’s “Kylie Prosecco” under the producer alias “CVZ S.p.A., Gambellara (VI). Italy,” an abbreviation of “Casa Vinocola Zonin SPA.” This connection brought the company’s practices into the spotlight, contrasting with the ethical and quality-focused approaches of other Prosecco producers.