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All you want to know about Italian wine market and production

For Doc and Docg wines, 13 million hectoliters produced in 2008, about the same for Igt ones. The consumption of origin controlled wines has dropped despite declines in prices

For all the Italian Doc-Docg (Controlled Denominazion of Origin, Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin) products, wine production in 2008 reached an amount of just over 13 million hectoliters, while in the same year, certified production was equal to 9.9 million hectoliters.

Again in relation to the certified volumes produced, the 10 most important Doc and Docg products represent over 47% of the total, a percentage that rises to 64% if the first twenty are considered. Among these, the first place for production in 2008 is held by Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, with 8.3% of the total, followed by Chianti (7.7%) and Asti (6.8%).

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo also confirms its leadership in the production of bottled wine, a sector which, overall, recorded an amount of just over 9 million hectoliters.

The farms that made reports in the same year of production to the Chambers of Commerce numbered 157,733, while the corresponding reported surface areas were 213, 083 hectares, with an average farm size of 1.4 hectares in 2008.

Farms making reports were particularly numerous in the Trentino Alto Adige Doc, while the Chianti area clearly held the record for reported extension of the surface area (an average of 4 hectares per farm).

The actual production of Igt (Typical Geographical Indication) in 2008 amounted to 13.7 million hectoliters, with the top five productions that alone represent over 54% of the total. The leader is Igt Sicilia with a share of 21.5%, followed by Veneto (12.8%) and Marca Trevigiana (7.6%). In the same year, the bottled IGT wine reached a volume of 8.8 million hectoliters, of which approximately 48% of the production comes from Veneto, Delle Venezie and Emilia.

Igt wines underwent a further expansion in consumption in 2009 (+4.9% in volume purchases by Italian households compared to 2008) albeit with a reduction in expenditure (-2.3% variation in value).

The Doc and Docg segment, on the contrary, despite the sharp fall in prices, showed a downward trend both in terms of quantity (- 2.4% year over year) and monetary terms (-11%).

Also losing ground were table wines which, despite economic difficulties, did not win over the preferences of the Italian consumers, who are orienting their choices toward the kind of reasonably priced quality and uniqueness that is represented by IGT products. The demand throughout the entire sector (whose volume is made up of 49% table wines) - announced Ismea - did indeed undergo a reduction of even greater quantities in 2009 (-2.9%) also accompanied by a decrease of 8.7% in value.

The dynamics of Doc-Docg and Igt wine buying in different distribution channels still show that supermarkets and hypermarkets play a leading role. These alone, over the past year, have moved over 70% of volumes for the Doc and Docg products (almost 79% when compared with the trade in value) and 78% of the Igt quantities (approximately 84% in monetary terms). From the comparison with 2008, hypermarkets show an increase of +2.6% for purchases of Doc and Docg products in volume and +0.9 for Igt products, while supermarkets saw a decrease of -2.4% for wines with a denomination of origin as compared to +8.7 for Igt wines.

Finally, there is growth in the hard discounts which covered, in 2009, 13% of Doc-Docg purchases in quantity (7.2% in value) and almost 16% of Igt purchases (9.3% in value). In this case the comparison with 2008 shows positive changes for both market segments both in quantity and value: respectively 7.8% and 7.9% for Doc-Docg wines and 7.5% and 8.3% for Igt products.

by Graziano Alderighi
03 may 2010, World News > Italy