brosecco toronto

Toronto company getting sued by Italy over their bro-themed wine

Italy takes their wine very seriously. So seriously, in fact, they're actually suing a Toronto company over the name of their bro-themed sparkling wine.

A couple years ago, two friends who both just so happen to be named Jason came up with the name "Brosecco," and decided to make it into a brand with single serving cans of wine. Jason Meyers is a fashion designer, and Jason Trenton is a social media specialist.

"We were just a couple of bros hanging out at our private wine club crushing sparkling on those hot summer afternoons," Meyers tells blogTO.

However, Brosecco's afternoon in the sun quickly came crashing down when someone from the real Prosecco in Italy came knocking on Meyers' door and served him papers over the name. 

Prosecco is actually like champagne: it's named for the place it comes from. Italy is particularly picky about where things come from, especially when it comes to certain food products.

Italian wine is fiercely labelled and legally protected via a system called "Denominazione di Origine Protetta," originally based off the French "appellation d'origine contrôlée" certification system. Basically, these systems demand that products meet defined quality standards and come from specified regions.

"Bereskin & Parr who act for Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco had a runner knock on my condo door which was answered by my wife and served her papers for my business partner and I," says Meyers.

From there, the Brosecco boys started contacting lawyers, seeing what they could do to keep "prosecco" a part of their branding in some way.

"We have been trying to give them options to be ok with us using 'secco,' which simply means dry in Italian," says Meyers. "Options such as adding 'not Prosecco,' 'made in Canada,' etc., but they seem to not budge so now unfortunately it feels like bully game."

Without the time or money to fight the Italian government legally, the bros decided to switch up the branding to Bro/XO.

It's made from Niagara Vidal grapes, comes in at 7.5 per cent, is available in 355 ml single-serve cans and has under a gram of sugar per serving. Priced at $4.95 a can, you can contact the company via email to order it.

"We are just looking to growing the brand and being a proud local VQA product hopefully expanding with the LCBO, other great Canadian provinces and crossing borders in the next year or so," says Meyers.

So watch out, bros: no matter what it's called, you could be getting a new sparkling wine just for you this summer.

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