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Published:  23 July, 2008

by Nicolas Belfrage MW & Franco Ziliani

Vino Novello, Italy's answer to Beaujolais Nouveau, was released this year on 6 November to a fanfare of rising sales and solid PR success. Production in 2003, according to estimates issued by the Istituto Vino Novello Italiano, has risen to 18,964,419 bottles from 17,964,602 in 2002 (+5%) and 16,820,374 in 2001. This represents 0.33% of total Italian wine production (around 42 million hl in 2003) for a value of about E86 million. The average price has also gone up by 5.6% to E4.58 per bottle. The main region of production is Veneto (with 6,668,049 bottles, about 35.1% of the total), followed by Tuscany (2,629,000 bottles, 13.8%) and Trentino (1,813,000 bottles, 9.6%). Fifty-nine different grape varieties are used for the production of Italian Novello, principal among them being Merlot, followed by Cabernet and Sangiovese, with a biggish gap to grapes such as Montepulciano, Corvina, Barbera, Rondinella, Teroldego and Marzemino.