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2018 in growth for the “big” of Italian wine, positive outlook for 2019, although many doubts

WineNews analysis on the producers’ and managers’ sentiments and on the balance sheets of 15 of the largest companies in terms of turnover
Outlook 2019 of the Italy vineyard

2018 is about to end, it was after all, another positive year of growth for Italian wine and also the sentiment for 2019, although in the past 12 months critical issues emerged to be fixed as soon as possible: from the slowdown of still wines to exports, “masked” by the growth of Prosecco, to a recovery in internal consumption much less solid than expected. But it was, however, a year of growth, or in the worst case scenario, for the big brands of Italian wine, which is not an obvious conclusion, if you consider that the 2017 vintage was the poorest in the last 50 years, to the point that, in some cases, wine was not produced, especially for the wines from faster rotation.
It emerges from the sentiment of managers, producers and the balance sheets of 15 of the largest Italian companies in terms of turnover, among the absolute leaders of the wine industry, tested by WineNews. From the Italian Wine Group (Giv) to Antinori, from Mezzacorona to Santa Margherita, from Banfi to Schenk, from Zonin to Ruffino, from Caviro to Cantina di Soave, from Gruppo Lunelli (Ferrari) to Masi, from Frescobaldi to Villa Sandi, to Gruppo Terra Moretti, which, in 2017, have put together a total turnover of more than 2.1 billion euros,
more or less a fifth of the total turnover of wineries in Italy.
2018 will close with substantial stability in turnover. A positive figure, especially for one reason, as mentioned, the lack of the 2017 harvest led to reducing the number of products on the market, and still have reached the same levels of sales in value on 2016, emphasize producers and managers, it means being able to place the available product better, by raising prices.
On the other hand, for another third of the sample under examination, growth was contained, between +2% and +5%. More or less, for the same dynamic, because several companies stress that they are practically at the top of their current production potential and, therefore, the growth passes through the increase in values and prices of wines. Still, a trio of companies reports a growth between 5% and 10%, while only two companies estimate 2018 that will close with a growth of around 20%. A positive year, therefore, above all, as has been the case for years, thanks almost exclusively to exports which, in line with what has been expressed by the companies surveyed by WineNews, should reach 6.2 billion euros in 2018, thus setting a new record (estimated Vinitaly-Nomisma Observatory), up by a few percentage points on the 6 billion euros of 2017. A record, as highlighted several times, also masked by the growth of sparkling wines, Prosecco at the top, with still wines that, in general, are more difficult.
From an internal market perspective, however, even if almost all companies show that the recovery in consumption, at least in large-scale distribution, has not been as solid as expected, some more positive signs come, on the contrary, from the Horeca channel. After a very poor 2017 vintage, 2018 started with a few concerns from producers, but we are now looking with a little more serenity, and with a positive outlook to 2019, although there are still many worries, which, in most cases, are “external” to the wine sector, both on the internal market and in the world.
On this last point, everyone wants to understand the real impact of Brexit on exports to the United Kingdom, which is the third largest importer of Italian wine in value, and there is a maximum attention on the possible developments of the “war of duties”, which for now has involved the U.S. and China, without compromising the wine sector. Even on the Italian front, net, as I said, of the lack of growth in consumption, political uncertainty is the main concern.
However, in any case, a clear and strong signal emerges, the real future growth of Italian wine involves the creation of value and better positioning of the price on the market, on which everyone declares to want to invest and work more for the future.

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