Italian Wine News


ISMEA / UIV 2008 Italian Wine Production Forecast:
Fourth of six parts
Staff Writer – September 9, 2008

Regional Production (Continued)

In the Emilia Romagna region expectation go from flat to 5% increase compared to 2007. the overall regional result combines a respectable production increase in the Romagna wine zones, with a decrease in the Emilian wine areas.

Though in Romagna maturation is slightly ahead of schedule, the progression so far is good, and the current weather is bringing home an excellent product. The harvest is expected to be abundant in the plains, while production will be limited in the hillside vineyards, because of local drought. The region saw sporadic peronospora infections which were easily controlled.

The situation appears completely the opposite of that in Emilia, where the adverse climate conditions during the months of May and June, with persistent humidity, provoked repeated peronospora attacks. The prompt intervention of the vintners were less than effective, because of the endless rainfall. Because of the lower than usual temperature the grapes here are ripening with a delay of about 10 days.


The production in the central region is up from last year, starting with 5% to 10% in Tuscany, where the output could actually rise above the last five years' average. In any case though, there are differences within the wine zones, because of diverse climate conditions, especially at the beginning of the seasonal growth. On the other hand, the good summer weather across the region favored the progression to maturation. At this point the variable is the warm weather which is continuing into September. Though at regional level the health problem in the vineyards have been fewer than usual, in some areas it affected negatively the quantity of the output. Overall the expectation is for a quality vintage, though not extraordinary. The evaluation will be more accurate by the time that the Sangiovese harvest starts, a little belated because of a slight delay in ripening.

Latium projections show a similar percentage growth to that of Tuscany, when compared to 2007, though in this case it will probably not be enough to reach the regional five-year average output. The normal winter favored the beginning of the yearly cycle, which was then slowed down by a spring which was cooler than usual with abundant rainfall, in particular in the inland wine zones. Despite the limited rainfall in July and August, the sporadic rainstorms contributed to the development of numerous peronospora hotbeds, which destroyed part of the production. The final quality of the grapes will depend upon the weather over the next few weeks. Currently it is expected to be good, though short of excellent, with good sugar content, though lower compared to 2007, which was a particularly hot and dry season.

The harvest in the Marches region is expected to increase from 20% to 25%, though most likely it will not recoup the loss felt in 2007, which was a very poor harvest, quantity wise. The persistent rain, which lasted for long periods in spring, when the temperatures were below normal as well, affected the beginning of the regional growth in the vineyards. The better climate afterward, contributed to bringing optimal maturation of the grapes, with some delays for the younger vines cultivated on sandy soil only, which were affected more by the lack of water in summer. Widespread infections of peronospora and oidio were promptly fought, leaving very limited damage.

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