Italian Wine News


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

Staff Writer – September 9, 2008

Regional Production

According the ISMEA / UIV research, the regions with the lower production this year are the north western ones, which loses two digit percentages over the previous year.

The region with the lowest production compared to the norm is certainly Piedmont, with a 15% to 20% decrease. In some production areas, such as Asti, production is significantly lower than in other areas, such as the zone around Cuneo. In this region the production is completely the opposite of that of 2007.

Though the year began with a particularly rigid climate, blooming started somewhat earlier than normal. There were the cold, rainy weather in May and June, sometime paired with hail storms and heavy winds, which turned the tables. The productive cycle slowed significantly, accumulating from 10 to 20 days delay, depending on the grape variety. In the second half of August the weather stabilized and the climate become ideal for the good maturation of the grapes without problems, provided that the weather holds in this last stretch before harvest. The elevated humidity which characterized summer 2008 brought about a combination of peronospora, oidio and botritys which has kept vintners alarmed and ready to intervene. Producers who did not pay the needed care to the vineyards in August, risk seeing their production lower than that of their neighbors and of lesser quality. The sugar content is generally very good.

Italia, regiuoni nord ovest

In Lombardy the expectations are less then optimistic, with a 15% to 20% drop in production forecast. In fact, summer lowered expectations substantially, and what was at first projected to be a regular harvest could actually turn out to be one of the lowest outputs in the last five years. The wine zone around Pavia is strongly affected because of the peronospora which attacked in particular the already weakened Croatina grape variety. For what it is worth, maturation is in the norm, neither early nor delayed.  The quality is good, thanks to a protracted period of climate stability, with cool nights and warm days, despite some minor damage brought by isolated hail storms. In the province of Brescia production is significantly lower as well. In the Franciacorta wine zone, where the harvest of grapes for sparkling wines is already started, the lower quantity is compensated by good acidity and superior quality. Other wine area whose production will be lower than that of 2007 include the Lake Garda and Valcalepio area, in part due to hail storms. In Valtellina, despite the adverse climate in the month of July and sporadic peronospora attacks, production is expected to exceed last year's.

Summer scaled down production expectations in the Aosta Valley as well, with decrease of 10% to 15% compared to 2007 and maturation is about 15 days addition the excessive rainfall favored the development of pathogens, such as peronospora, oidio and others, which affected both quality and quantity.

July and August have not changed the grim forecast for Liguria's output, which is expected to decrease 15% to 20% compared to 2007. The repeated insurgence of peronospora in the early stages of growth, have resulted difficult to overcome because of the long stretch of rainy days in June.

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