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Selling grapes? Great idea in Trento and Bolzano, less so in Calabria: revenues by region

One hectare cultivated with wine grapes in Trento, on average, guarantees revenues of 21,463 euros. In Calabria just 3,122 euros

When talking about the world of Italian wine, it is almost always taken for granted that it is a closed cycle, in which the producer, whether big or small, is also a winemaker. This is often the case, but not always. There are, along the chain, also those who limit themselves to the vine-growing aspect, then selling the grapes to other producers, or giving them to a cooperative of which they are part. In fact, it is a factor about which little is written, but which plays a fundamental role, especially as an economic player. Even if with sometimes abysmal differences from region to region, because, as Ismea’s data on the average revenue of Italian vineyards tell us, it is one thing to grow Pinot Noir for a DOC in the Province of Bolzano, quite another to grow wine grapes common in Calabria.
On average, among ordinary, IGP and DOP wines, the most valuable grapes are those of the province of Bolzano, which guarantee an average revenue of 21,463 euros per hectare, while in Calabria, one hectare planted with vines brings revenues for 3,122 euros. A very wide range, but if at the top only the Province of Trento, where the valorization of the product, also thanks to the exceptional work of the cooperatives, comes close to that of Bolzano (17.402 euros), at the bottom there are many who record values similar to those of the Calabrian wine growers. A hectare planted with vines in Sicily guarantees an income of only 3.826 euros, in Umbria of 3.865 euros, in Marche of 3.898 euros. A bit more profitable for wine growers in Lazio, where one hectare of vineyards brings to 4,332 euros of income, in Basilicata it is 4,529 euros, in Campania 4,836 euros and in Sardinia 5,180 euros. In Lombardy, one hectare planted with vines guarantees revenues of 5,738 euros, in Molise 5,784 euros, slightly less than in Emilia Romagna (6,342 euros) and, above all, Tuscany, at 6,651 euros. Better are Abruzzo (7,300 euros per hectare planted with vines), Apulia (7,477 euros), Liguria (8,644 euros), Veneto (9,949 euros), Piedmont (10,019 euros), Valle d’Aosta (11,488 euros) and Friuli Venezia Giulia (11,807 euros).
Ratios which remain substantially unchanged if the focus is shifted to wine grapes with denomination. Still in the lead, by far, the duo of Trentino Alto Adige, and therefore the provinces of Bolzano and Trento, where one hectare of vines destined to the production of DOC wines guarantees revenues - respectively - of 21,929 and 17,976 Euros. Important values also for Valle d’Aosta (13,348 Euros), Friuli Venezia Giulia (12,421 Euros), Piedmont (10,629 Euros) and Veneto (10,241 Euros). Detached, also in this case, Tuscany, where one hectare cultivated with wine grapes with denomination, on average, guarantees an income of 7,327 euros. At the bottom of the list, Umbria, with just 4,153 euros per hectare, whereas Lombardy, Marche, Abruzzo, Sardinia and Campania exceed 6,000 euros of income per hectare with their production of grapes for appellation wines.
Everything changes if the analysis is limited to ordinary wines, and the reason is easily understandable: as there are no disciplinary, yields can be pushed to important levels, as well as the types of farming, in order to ensure the highest possible productivity. Therefore, in many Regions it is more profitable to produce grapes destined to the production of ordinary wine than grapes destined to the production of appellation wines. In the lead there is Apulia, with a revenue of 9,743 euros per hectare, followed by Abruzzo (8,166 euros), Veneto (7,590 euros) and Emilia Romagna (6,763). Molise (5,765 euros), Lazio (4,349 euros) and Piedmont (4,321 euros) also did well, while the profitability of the provinces of Bolzano (2,774 euros) and Trento (3,885 euros) dropped.
Lastly, grapes destined to the production of wines having a geographical indication, which are getting prices not so different from the ones destined to appellation wines. With two exceptions, those of Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta, where the production of wines with geographical indication is not foreseen and regulated. Worthy of mention is Friuli Venezia Giulia, which guarantees revenues for 12,409 euros per hectare, behind only the Province of Bolzano (14,253 euros), but ahead of the Province of Trento (10,336 euros). They are followed by Veneto (9,043 euros per hectare), Liguria (8,687 euros), Abruzzo (7,304 euros), Basilicata (7,143 euros) and Emilia Romagna (6,922 euros), while Tuscany stops at 5,692 euros, slightly more than little Molise (5,745 euros).

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