Italian Wine News


ISMEA / UIV 2007 Italian Wine Production Forecast
First of Six Parts
Staff Writer – September 9, 2007

According to ISMEA (Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo Alimentare, or Service Institute for the Agricultural and Food Market) and UIV (Unione Italiana Vini, or Italian Wine Union) forecast updated to September 7, 2007 this year's vintage will be very lean: The two organizations foresee a record drop in wine production, with 43.5 million hectoliters (around 4,600 million gallons), or 12% less than 2006.

In addition to being the earliest in the last 30 years, this harvest will also produce the lowest output for the same period, in a trend common from the Alps to the southern tip of the Italian boot. The main causes for this are the general drought that affected the peninsula and some violent attacks of peronospora in Sicily. The quality will be in the average-to-good-range, with some areas achieving excellence.

Italian Wine Harvest 1978-2007
Italian Wine Harvest 1978-2007
Data by ISTAT (Istituto Nazionale di Statistica, or National Institute of Statistics)
Projection 2007 by ISMEA-UIV updated September 7, 2007

These data are the result of the second joint reconnaissance by ISMEA and UIV, which foresee an overall production of 43.5 million hectoliters (around 4,600 million gallons), with a 12% decrease compared to last year, with a production of 49.6 million hectoliters (over 4,231 million gallons) of wine.

"The data elaborated during the first week of September," said ISMEA President, Arturo Semerari, "are lower than our previous forecast made at the beginning of summer, where we had nonetheless pointed out the expectation of a lower production because of the long dry spell which, added to other climate adversities, negatively affected the output as far as quantity is concerned. Following the unusually warm winter and spring seasons," continued Semerari, "the summer brought along enough problems of its own, practically splitting the peninsula in two. In fact, the northern regions had several rainfalls in August, some with thunderstorm characteristics and sparse hailfall, while in the southern regions the hot, dry trend continued."

As anticipated at the beginning of summer, harvest started in most parts of Italy around mid-August. The anticipation of 15-20 days assessed at blooming time remained substantially unchanged.

"With regards to the quantity, this year's harvest could be compared to 2003, " explained UIV President, Andrea Sartori, "But beside this parallel, in which the two vintages will be competing for the bottom position, the two production years followed fairly different paths. While in 2003 the lower production was due to the torrid summer which affected the whole peninsula, anticipating the ripening and heightening the alcohol content, the 2007 production year showed precocity already during the blooming phase, while the variable August climate, especially in the north, did not push the alcohol content up."

With regards to parasite attacks, the peronospora affected the Sicilian vineyards starting in July, generating worries for a substantial reduction in the grape production. In August the same parasite showed up in other southern vineyards, while in the north, a limited presence of oidium was noted.

Analyzing the output region by region, the reduction in the production resulted common to the whole country, though with different percentages and Friuli Venezia Giulia is the only region where a small increase is expected. In general the major decrease affected the southern regions.

Following we provide the detailed forecast region by region:


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