Italy is set to confirm its leadership position as the top wine producer in the world based on preliminary data for the 2016 harvest.
The data from the statistical service of France’s Agriculture Ministry, analysed by Italian farmers association Coldiretti, reveals that Italy’s wine production is estimated at 48.5 million hectoliters.
For its part, France’s production will dip by 10 per cent on last year to 42.9 million hectoliters, being surpassed by Spain, for whom estimates indicate a production of 45 million hectoliters.
The French wine production debacle is due to spring frosts that have hit certain wine-growing areas (Champagne, Burgundy and the Loire Valley), recurrent episodes of wind, to which were added the worsening drought towards the Mediterranean and the hail in some areas (Charente, Burgundy-Beaujolais, Languedoc-Roussillon) which impacted grape collection.
The 2016 harvest started in Italy on August 12, with a delay of almost a week compared to last year. However, much will depend on the month of September, with the weather conditions boding well for a year of good quality, after a mild winter.
According to figures from the Ministry of Agricultural Policies, Italy’s wine industry is worth over €14 billion, with 2015 exports hitting a record of €5.4 billion.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.