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Sicily sends a sixth of its 2004 production to the stills

Published:  23 July, 2008

Of the two million hectolitres (hl) of wine that Italy was allowed to submit for crisis distillation' by EC regulation number 1530 (dated 21 September 2005), Sicily has put in a request for more than half the total, or 1.1 million hl.

All of this has to be from the 2004 vintage, during which Sicily churned out 6.964 million hl of wine. The request therefore represents almost one sixth of total production of DOC, IGT and Vino da Tavola. The price guaranteed is a modest e1.914 per degree hl, but it appears to be better than the producers in question - all 72 of them - reckon they can get elsewhere.

Meanwhile, things aren't too rosy up in Piedmont, either. A recent crisis meeting of the heads of the principal consortia threw up a lament to the effect that cellars are still far too loaded with the product of previous vintages, which is obviously having a negative effect on already wobbly prices, leading to a variety of effectively price-cutting offers.

Fabrizio Rappalino, of Alba's Coldiretti, commented: The tendency towards the lowering of grape prices would create a disequilibrium harmful to all. The ideal situation would be to maintain the price levels of last year, during which prices already fell in comparison with 2003.'