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Allegrini 2018
REACTION TO COVID

Storage, distillation, yield cutting, promotion: Piedmont’s wine proposals

Filippo Mobrici (Piemonte Land): “extraordinary measures are needed to overcome this period and prepare the ground for the future”
CORONAVIRUS, distillation, PIEMONTE LAND, storage, WINE, News
Filippo Mobrici, at the helm of Piemonte Land

Storage, crisis distillation, yield cutting, greater promotion in world markets but also Italy, and not only: there are many proposals put on paper by Piemonte Land, the coordination of the Piedmont Wine Consortiums, led by Filippo Mobrici, not only to overcome the contingency of the crisis linked to the Coronavirus, which is weighing more and more heavily but also to try to anticipate a very uncertain future. A series of ideas and measures designed for Piedmont but which, of course, can considered for all the Regions and the many wine territories, which live in a common situation, because, almost everywhere, the crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the closure of domestic and foreign markets and the violent contraction of consumption, as well as the cancellation of many orders, is likely to bring the world of wine, Piedmont and beyond, to its knees and to have harmful and negative effects on an agricultural chain that involves many other production sectors, from technology to new media.
The emergency distillation of wine surpluses, possibly to be used for the production of alcohol sanitizer, is the main proposal and is mainly due to uncertainty about the real capacity of the domestic and foreign markets to absorb the production of Piedmontese wine. It will have to be applied to all those denominations that need it. The quantity of product to be sent for emergency distillation is between 250 000 and 280 000 hectolitres with an estimated value of around EUR 43 million. This solution would avoid stocks of the unsold product before the harvest which could generate harmful speculation.
The storage, explains Piedmont Land, is one of the options to stem the current crisis. The numbers coming from the Consorzi di Tutela, in fact, speak of a quantity of wines to be stored that is close to 600,000 hectolitres, including bulk, bottled and product to be sent for refrigerated storage. The aid, through the activation of appropriate facilities and logistical arrangements, covers a volume of product worth just over 21 million euros.
Reducing yields, both in the vineyard and in the winery, must be considered as one of the solutions that can limit the damage of the Covid-19 crisis. National and international trade relations will have a slow recovery, the aim is to reduce grape and wine production so as to avoid dangerous surpluses that would have a negative impact on prices. The hectares affected, in all the wine-growing areas of Piedmont, are 34,000, with a volume of around 731,000 quintals of grapes and a value of 58 million euros.
Piemonte Land requests to give a significant boost to the promotion of the regional denominations on the domestic and international markets. Protection consortia, in fact, agree on the strategic importance of a great future effort aimed at regaining the market shares lost during the pandemic and guaranteeing a decent income to winegrowers and hundreds of families. For this reason they consider it essential to review the CMO and Psr calls, allowing for changes in investment and target countries.
But among the proposals, there are also the increase in the percentage allowed for the vintage cut, currently 15%, which would offer a useful tool for the years to come, postponing the release of large quantities of product on the market, and the postponement of deadlines for plants, given the difficulty in recovering the necessary manpower.
“The closure of the Horeca channel (hotels, restaurants, bars, wine bars) has caused an unsustainable drop in sales for many companies - underlines the president of Piemonte Land, Fabrizio Mobrici - only partly mitigated by the flows in large-scale retail trade. The real risk for Piedmontese wine is not being able to withstand the financial stress caused by the Coronavirus. That is why we are taking action in all the appropriate locations to ask for extraordinary measures to overcome this period and prepare the ground for the future relaunch of the sector. From now on we must plan a great promotional action to relaunch our wines, which have always been ambassadors of our region in the world. I appeal to all operators in the area to show the solidarity that is essential to sow the seeds of recovery. At this time it is essential to unite around our Denominations, from whose health passes the economy and the protection of our territory”.

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