Published on Monday, April 28, 2008

Wine sector could be facing a crisis

Italian wine consumption and production have fallen posing a threat to the country's wine sector according to a report presented at the annual meeting of associations representing wine producers, marketers and experts in Venice on April 25.

The report reccomended that simpler laws and norms be adopted to regulate the sector and avoid a crisis.

The findings showed that although Italian wine exports continue to grow, over the past 20 years domestic per capita consumption of wine has fallen from over 100 liters a year to 46 last year. Production had declined by 17% and the amount of land used to grow wine grapes has shrunk by 35% as reported by

The chairman of the association of winemakers, Giancarlo Prevarin, observed that the average amount of land Italian farms dedicate to vineyards was two hectares, compared to seven in France and over 300 in Australia.

He said that of the over 300,000 firms bottling wine, over 75% sold their product to the domestic market while of the over 5,000 vineyards exporting Italian wine only a couple of hundred sold more than a container-full.

Assoenologi General Director Giuseppe Martelli pointed out that as 21 agencies and offices are involved on regulating and inspecting vineyards a winemaker spends 25% of his time filling out forms and making reports. He called for a data bank that could store the information as it would cut red-tape and also help in formulating medium and long-term plans for the sector.

Report by Chitra Mogul

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