Allegrini 2018

From table wines to big names, the prices of Italian bulk wines are rising

Brunello di Montalcino more than 1.150 euros per hectoliter, Amarone della Valpolicella nearly 900, Barolo at 850 euros, data from Chambers of Commerc
Colors of wine (photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi via Unsplash)

Prices in the Italian wine sector are increasing, costs of energy, transportation, raw materials, bottles and labels. And wine, for many reasons, is facing a significant price increase at the wineries – that is, bulk wines. Scarce vintages, in some cases, like 2017, one of the smallest ever in quantity, and it is the vintage coming to the market for leading denominations such as Barolo or Brunello di Montalcino. But the merit also goes to the market that up to now has recovered with great fanfare, especially for high quality wines, which are once again the stars on the tables of world catering. On one hand, it is a sign of health, though it is not at all easy to manage problem, especially for lower-priced wines, which mainly go to mass retail (where most sales are between 4 and 5 euros per bottle). Inevitably, someone has to support these price increases in the complicated supply chain, which from producer to consumer counts various types of intermediaries (wholesalers, distributors, wine bars, large distribution and restaurants). This is not a new picture (which the leaders of the Italian mass retail trade recently discussed at “Vinitaly Special Edition”), signaling strong price tensions in 2022, considering just prices of bulk products, which are clearly growing, as the WineNews analysis based on ISMEA and the Italian Chambers of Commerce lists indicated.
According to the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (ISMEA) survey regarding average prices of table wines, whites, in October, registered values ​​of 4.27 euros per hectare, 5.4% more compared to the previous month, and 19.4% compared to the same period in 2020. Table red and rosé wines were getting average prices of 4.36 euros per hectare, i.e., substantially stable compared to September, but up 10% compared to the same period in 2020. The prices of several of the leading Italian denomination wines have also increased significantly, as the Italian Chambers of Commerce have verified by comparing the recently post-harvest updated prices to the pre-harvest status. In Piedmont, according to Chamber of Commerce of Cuneo data referring to the 2-month period, September / October 2021, Barolo is growing significantly, as prices for the 2016 vintage are between 740 and 850 euros per hectoliter, and for 2017 between 722.6 to 835.4, while Barbaresco is stable, at 420 to 454 euros per for the 2017 harvest, and between 476 and 490 for 2018. Nebbiolo d'Alba is also stable, as the 2019 vintage prices are between 221 and 255 euros, as well as Langhe Nebbiolo, as prices are between 220 and 231.2 euros for 2019 and 200 and 220 euros for 2020. Further, according to the Chamber of Commerce of Alessandria, the value of Gavi is growing slightly, from 220 and 280 euros (data of November 29th), while according to the Chamber of Commerce of Asti, prices of Barbera d’Asti Superiore are stable, between 160 and 270 euros per hectoliter, and Nizza prices are from 250 to 350 euros for the 2018 vintage (data of November 24, 2021).
The picture is also positive in Tuscany, according to the latest surveys by the Siena Chamber of Commerce, updated to December 1st. The highest prices (even on the National level) are for Brunello di Montalcino. The highly celebrated 2016 vintage (now almost impossible to find, while the equally splendid 2015 vintage has been taken off the list) prices are from 950 to 1.150 euros per hectoliter, and identical prices for the 2017 vintage recently presented and to be released on the market in January 2022. The 2018 and 2019 productions are already rising (we are talking technically of wine capable of becoming Brunello di Montalcino), at prices from 650 to 800 euros per hectoliter. The prices of Rosso di Montalcino are also substantial as 2018 vintage prices are from 400 to 500 euros per hectoliter, and 2019 from 350 to 400, while 2020 vintage prices are already between 270 and 350 euros. Chianti Classico prices are growing, too, at fairly consistent values ​​among the various vintages on the list (from 2016 to 2020), almost all ranging between 270 and 320 euros per hectoliter. Chianti values are growing as well, and the 2017 vintage prices are between 143 and 180 euros while 2018, 2019 and 2020 vintages are fluctuating between 135 and 170 euros (even though just yesterday, on account of a dramatic decrease in stocks, the Consortium asked to anticipate entry on the market of the 2021 harvest to January 1, 2022, instead of March 1, ed.). Nobile di Montepulciano is stable in values, between 330 and 380 euros per hectoliter for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 vintages, while Rosso di Montepulciano’s 2018, 2019 and 2020 vintages are between 120 and 150 euros. Regarding white wines, Vernaccia di San Gimignano prices are stable, between 130 and 150 euros for the 2020 production, and 135-155 euros for 2019, the same values ​​as a few months ago. Looking at Bolgheri wines, according to the Maremma and Tirreno Chamber of Commerce, in Livorno the Bolgheri DOC, both Red and White prices are on average 310 euros per hectoliter, rising to 330 euros for the organic product.
In Veneto, instead, according to the Verona Chamber of Commerce (data as of November 29th ), prices of Amarone and Recioto are still growing. The 2018 production prices are between 880 and 900 euros per hectoliter, reaching 920 euros for the “classic” product ), and Valpolicella DOC suitable for Ripasso, prices are 300 and 320 euros per hectoliter, while Valpolicella DOC values are between 180 and 190 euros, increasing to 200-210 for the “classic” version. Soave Classico is stable at 100 to 115 euros, while Pinot Grigio delle Venezie is growing slightly, from 110 to 115 euros, and Lugana is soaring at 300 to 330 euros per hectoliter. The prices of the “Prosecco system” are also growing, according to the Treviso Chamber of Commerce, as of November 30 , 2021, Prosecco DOC prices are between 195 and 210 euros per hectoliter, Asolo DOCG between 220 and 220, while Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG prices are from 255 to 275 euros, while the typology “Rive” prices are from 270 to 290 euros, and the “Cartizze” (data of November 23, 2021) between 800 and 900 euros per hectoliter. The increases demonstrate an almost impetuous growth trend in prices, evidence of a healthy market, which, however, needs to be managed with foresight.

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