Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Italy poised to take number one wine spot from France

Published:  15 December, 2008

Italy confident of overtaking France as world's biggest winemaker.

The Italian farmer's association, Coldiretti said the country was on track to produce more wine than rival France for the first time in a decade.

The country said it was destined to produce 4.7billion litres of wine, up 8% on 2007. France produced 4.44bn litres, which is down 5% on last year.

"Italy now is the world's biggest exporter by volume, although France remains No 1 in terms of value, thanks to sales of champagne," Coldiretti official Domenico Bosco."

Coldiretti dismissed claims Italy's boom year would mean an influx of cheap reds or vinegary whites.

He said quality had been maintained due to 60% of wines now being given certificates of quality or geographic origin.

And that Chianti and Prosecco were still in huge demand as they are priced lower than Champagne, he said.

Hailing from northern Italy, production of bubbly prosecco has doubled in the last 15 years. Strong southern reds such as Primitivo, which were once used to bulk up weaker reds, are now acquiring a status of their own.

Coldiretti said that Italy was now the top exporter of wines to the US in terms of value and volume, with 30% of the market, although sales had taken a dip thanks to the weak dollar.