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Allegrini 2018
ITALIAN VINEYARD

“Excellent quality, measured in quantity”: the harvest by Assoenologi, Ismea and Unione Italia Vini

The final figures show a production of 46.6 million hectoliters in Italy (-2% on 2019), with the prospect of great wines in the bottle

In a very complicated market and social tension, at least the vineyard gives some smiles to Italian wine producers, with a 2020 harvest “excellent in quality and measured in quantity”, with a total production of wine and must of 46.6 million hectoliters (-2% on 2019, and slightly lower than the OIV estimates, released today): this is the definitive response on the harvest in the Belpaese signed by Assoenologi, Ismea and Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv), which thus welcomes a “favorable verdict of nature on the world economic situation, which delivers a very promising harvest also for the commercial future of the world’s leading wine producer”. A fact, that of the 2020 harvest, “due to lower yields both in the field and in the cellar, but which sees the quality bar growing, with a standard that, thanks to the weather, has increased from week to week, with peaks of excellence in almost the whole country even after the rains at the end of September”.
The geography of the harvest, perfect also from the point of view of the phytosanitary state of the grapes, marks the greatest contraction for the regions of Central and Southern Italy, starting from Tuscany (-21%) to Sicily (-20%), Umbria and Lazio (-10%). In countertrend Sardinia (+20%). In balance Veneto (+1%), which with 11 million quintals of wine expected maintains the national production leadership, followed by Puglia (-8%) and Emilia Romagna (+10%). On the rise, in a general context that is below the quantitative average of the last five years, also important production regions such as Abruzzo (+6%), Trentino Alto Adige (+5%), Lombardy (+10%) and Marche (+5%), while Friuli Venezia Giulia falls by -9%.
Riccardo Cotarella, president of Assoenologi, comments that “the 2020 harvest gave us grapes of the highest quality thanks to a slight decrease in quantity. On the other hand, as is well known, we have always believed that the only element that can give value to Italian wine, in addition to our immense biodiversity, is the intrinsic quality of our wines. The world record for the quantity produced is not considered by us to be a qualifying element for both form and substance. Given the pandemic situation, I am sure that the excellent quality will be the added value of a harvest that, for aspects related to the health emergency, has been experienced with a sense of concern that has been gripping us for months now. A sense of concern that should not, however, affect the feeling of hope and the desire to overcome this dramatic moment. As president of Assoenologi, but also as a man and entrepreneur in the sector, I feel like renewing, today more than ever, the appeal to the entire supply chain in our sector, to multiply our efforts and ensure that this harvest can be translated into great wines”.
“Nature has managed to express in a year of extreme difficulty a very balanced harvest everywhere - added the president of Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), Ernesto Abbona - and, in many areas, certainly, to remember. The excellent quality, combined with the right quantity, will help companies in this particular economic situation. The volumes, significantly lower (-2%) than the average of the last five years, will allow containing the tensions of the internal market caused by the renewed restrictions imposed by the latest government measures and, on the international front, by the rampant global health emergency. The context is certainly difficult, but there is the awareness that, as soon as the conditions are in place, the sector will be able to restart as it has always done in recent years. We ask the Government for caution and attention in managing health emergency measures. At this stage, we need to listen and share, fairness in treatment and certain times for the economic relief announced by the Government. In addition, we hope that we will quickly start a phase of planning the plans for the institutional promotion of Made in Italy food and wine for the next year, in order to relaunch the image of our sector in the main international markets”.
“The Italian wineries are facing the difficulties arising from the pandemic with great dynamism and a spirit of adaptation - said Raffaele Borriello, general manager of Ismea - more and more companies have been operating a process of diversification of distribution channels, managing to place products even in the moment of total blockage of the Horeca channel. In this difficult economic situation, it was above all large-scale distribution that mitigated the sector’s losses on the Italian market, thanks to the good performance of purchases during the first 9 months of 2020 (+7% in value with peaks of 11% for the sparkling wine segment). But the health emergency, as revealed by an Ismea survey in progress, has also impressed a strong acceleration in the digitalization of the wine sector, through more widespread use of e-commerce and new ways of selling and interacting with the end customer. Also on the export front, despite the thud recorded in May, the reduction in value flows was limited in the first 7 months of 2020 to a minus 3.2%, even recording a small increase in July (+1.1%)”.

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