… to be here tonight speaking about our elevation to DOCG status, the highest honor that can be bestowed on an Italian wine. Yes, thank you, thank you, give it up for the little guy! Ha, ha! O.K., whew, thanks! I mean it! You’re great! You’re wonderful! Ha, ha! Yeah!

O.K., so, what does this all mean?

Take a look at the chart projected behind me. Uh, Guido, the chart? O.K., Italian technology, it’s the best, right? I mean, the trains run on time.

Anyway, you see there, straight north of Venice is Conegliano and straight west of that town is Valdobbiadene and in the region, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, is the best Prosecco produced. And we’re so pleased, so pleased, you cannot imagine, to have the coveted Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita bestowed upon this region of beautiful and historic authenticity. We worked, we waited, we prayed, we petitioned Luca Zaia, the Minister of Agriculture, a native son of Veneto, and now it is here. With this elevation from plain D.O.C status to D.O.C.G, we join the sacred ranks of only 45 other wines in Italy, including such notable wines as Chianti, Gavi, Bardolino Superiore and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Yes, we have arrived and we’re here to stay!

And in order to combat the shameless pirating of the Prosecco name, to thwart the assault on our authenticity, the government has generously bestowed a Prosecco D.O.C on eight provinces, all the way to Trieste, where nobody is actually making Prosecco, but who knows, they might want to some day! I mean, we’re owed! In Champagne, they’re adding 2,500 acres to the official vineyard sites, so why shouldn’t we add most of northeastern Italy. My grandmother has always wanted to grow Prosecco grapes and now she has her chance, and what’s good for Grandmama, well, it’s good for Italy!

Anyway, you’re a great crowd, I love you, really. Enjoy the Prosecco the waiters are passing out to your tables now, and remember, as our greatest poet, the venerable Dante wrote:

If you’re just passing time,
Prosecco is your wine.

Thank you, thank you, and God bless!