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


Published:  23 July, 2008

By Nicholas Belfrage MW & Franco Ziliani

Italian exports are moving upwards after a prolonged lean period. The first six months of 2004 saw a rise of 10.42% in volume, although value growth was just 4.9%, suggesting that the market is trading down. In absolute terms, Italy went from e1.252 million in the first half-year of 2003 to e1.313 million in the same period of 2004, and from 6.1 to 6.7 million hectolitres. Over a similar period, prices have fallen significantly. At the end of the 2003 harvest, the bulk price of Chianti Classico was e180; Brunello di Montalcino, e310; Barolo, e195; Barbaresco, e125. Those prices now stand at e90, e240, e150 and e90 respectively. There seems to be a lot of unsold Chianti Classico in the market place. Italian producers were buoyed this month by some excellent results from the 2004 harvest, boosted by excellent weather in September. According to Giuseppe Martelli, director of Italy's Association of Oenologists (Assoenologi), 2004 is a year not just of quality but of quantity, with excellent whites and very good reds. All indications from the wineries,' explained Martelli, are that this year's white wines will be characterised by great finesse and an exuberant freshness, with intense perfumes and aromas. Reds are still a little more difficult to evaluate, given that many grapes remain to be, or have just been, picked. However the indications are that we will have wines of good structure and varietal character that are balanced and capable of ageing.' Current predictions are that the harvest will be around 20% bigger than that of 2003, in line with the five-year average (1999-2003) of 50.6 million hectolitres. In support of such estimates is the harvest figure of some 73 million quintals of grapes (one quintal = 100 kilos), which at an average of 73% yield of wine to grapes would make around 53.3 million hectolitres.