Italian Wine News


ISMEA / UIV 2008 Italian Wine Production Forecast:
First of Six Parts

Staff Writer – September 9, 2008

ISMEA Unione Italiana Vini: Harvest volume up 7%, but does not recoup the whole amount decreased in 2007.

At this point the projections set the Italian wine production at 46 million hectoliters (over 1,215 million gallons), with the boot split substantially in two main areas: the South marks a substantial recoup over 2007, while the Northern regions repeat the low production values of last year. Quality-wise, the expectations are from good to excellent.

Italia dei ViniThe 2008 harvest will be more generous compared to the previous year, though it will not reach the 2006 output. This is as much as the second reconnaissance on the field by ISMEA (Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo, or Services for the Agricultural Markets) and the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV, or Italian Wine Union) reveals. The projections point to 46 million hectoliters, or 7% increase over the 43 million reported by ISTAT (Italy's National Institute of Statistics) in 2007.

The analysis just recently completed reveals a less optimistic scenario than the one projected at the beginning of summer, and slightly reduces the vintners' expectations. In general though, in addition to the limited quantity growth compared to 2007, the quality is expected to be generally good, and in some cases excellent. In any case, caution is still called for, as the climate performance during the next few weeks, when harvest is in full swing, will affect the quality of the fruit.

While 2007 was characterized by early blooming, the growth process in 2008 turned out to be much closer to the norm, and in some areas blooming and maturation showed a delay..

Unfortunately the cold winter, followed by the extended rain outpours in springtime and the drought, especially in the southern regions, clipped some of the potential of the Italian vineyards. In addition, the climate favored the development of a few illnesses. This fact shows once more that the quality and quantity of the harvest is strictly related to the vineyard management. The results are positive for the vintners who cared for their vines, while those who were slow in taking the needed actions are being penalized.

This year as well the analyses shows a clear difference between north and south, though in 2008 it is the South which has increased its production, while the North remains stable at last years values.

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