- Associated Press - Monday, December 17, 2018

ASOLO, Italy (AP) - Prosecco, the fruity sparkling wine made in the northeastern hills of Italy is gaining in global popularity - and producers of Champagne, for so long the dominant bubbly wine, are taking note.

Prosecco has become the best-selling sparkling wine in the world by volume, and experts say it is eroding the market share of Champagne, the French wine that is synonymous with celebration but also comes with a heftier price tag. The Italian wine’s production eclipsed Champagne’s five years ago and is now 75 percent higher at 544 million bottles.

Champagne still claims the revenues crown, cashing in a record 4.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion) last year on 307 million bottles, 2.8 billion euros of that in exports. But Prosecco’s bubble shows no sign of bursting: exports this year are trending up 16 percent.

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