Widely-reported fears of a global Prosecco shortage this summer may have been overstated, a leading wine and alcoholic drinks importer claims.

Reports that the UK would be hit by a shortage of the sparkling Italian wine and steep price hikes were widely circulated last week following an interview with Roberto Cremonese, export manager of Prosecco producer Bisol. Cremonese had warned that 2014’s poor harvest would lead to the shortfall.

However, a number of conflicting reports have since been issued. Nick Thatham, wine development manager for Continental Wine & Food, is one of those who played down the problem and urged retailers against panic buying.

“There will be a new vintage in October which may well be better than 2014 to alleviate the problem,” he said. “2014 was one of the smallest Italian vintages on record, but there have been substantial new plantings of the Giera grape in recent years to increase Prosecco production.”

Any future price rises would also be minimal, he added. “There have already been some price increases this year, however there should be no more for the moment as the pound is strong and will counteract any further movement if it happens.”

Any possible Prosecco shortage could, however, boost sales of other sparkling drinks, particularly Italian Vino Spumante wines from the same region, Thatham added. “There are more of these coming onto the market at the moment.

“Our supplier Casa Gheller has already launched a Rose Spumante Brut on sale in Bargain Booze and also has a Vino Spumante Dolce (Sweet) available shortly.”