An estimated 900 million bottles of Italian sparkling wine were sold in 2021, with sales in foreign markets up by 20%, new data has shown.
Production value exceeded €2.4 billion for the first time, and is up by 170% over the past decade, according to data published by the Italian Wine Union (UIV) - Ismea Observatory.
Sparkling wine now accounts for about one-quarter of total Italian wine exports.
Sales of Italian sparkling wine in the large-scale distribution channel in Italy for the first eleven months of 2021 grew 22% in volume and 26% in value, year-on-year.
Over 316 million bottles were consumed during the end-of-year festivities, up 18.3% on 2020 and 50% higher compared to five years ago.
Of this number, almost three out of four were sold abroad, while some 88 million bottles (+14%) were consumed by Italians.
Christmas And New Year Spend
The total spent on Italian sparkling wine for Christmas and New Year’s Eve amounted to €236 million, setting a new record.
In addition, Italians uncorked around five million bottles of imported sparkling wines, a 50% increase on 2020.
All the main Italian denominations saw double-digit growth, including Prosecco DOC (+25%), Asti, Franciacorta, Conegliano DOC, Trento, Oltrepò, Alta Langa, Lessini Durello and Colli Asolani.
Meanwhile, according to research by Italian farmers lobby group Coldiretti, the main importers of Italian sparkling wine are the United States (+44% in volume), followed by the UK (+12%), Germany (+2%), France (+16%), Russia (+52%), China (+29%) and Japan (+18%).
However, additional growth is weighed down by the presence of numerous imitations of Italian sparkling wine (prosecco), such as in Germany where bottles of Kressecco and Meer-Secco are on sale.
Elsewhere, a final decision of the European Commission is still expected on the registration of the traditional Croatian wine Prosek, whose name recalls the Italian sparkling wine.