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Allegrini 2018
THE POINT OF VIEW

The Italian wine market, struggling with the most serious economic crisis since the Second World War

At WineNews Andrea Verlicchi, new president Med. & A.: “we are likely to get to the harvest with the cellars full”
ANDREA VERLICCHI, COVID, ITALY, UNIONE ITALIANA VINI, News
Wine, it is likely to reach the harvest 2020 with the barrels still full

The Italian wine market, struggling with the worst global economic crisis since the Second World War, between cellar stocks, crisis distillation and green harvesting, in the words, to WineNews, of Andrea Verlicchi, the new president of the National Association of Business Agents in Mediation and Commercial Agents, which has 25 affiliated companies, representing about one hundred operators in the sector, handling about 15 million hectolitres of wine per year for a turnover of almost one billion euros, and now a leading player in the association of UIV - Unione Italiana Vini.
“The situation is complicated, and it is not easy to make predictions, but we have daily inputs and the need to deal with what is happening: suspended or revised contracts, deferred payments. We need to understand what will happen in June and July, the situation is complex because we risk arriving at the harvest with the cellars full of wine. And this is as far as generic wines are concerned, which are the ones that went for the most in large-scale distribution. Looking at DOC wines, the problem is more serious. Stocks are high, especially in Veneto, but also in Sicily and Abruzzo, despite in some cases significant price drops. If they are not consumed, they risk downgrading the generic wine market. For crisis distillation - points out Verlicchi - as we pointed out with UIV (Unione Italiana Vini) to the Ministry of Agriculture, the price is too low, lower than the prices paid for wine by vinegar. We are talking about 25-30 cents per liter, it does not even pay back the expenses incurred by the winemakers. Thus, there is the risk of not distilling, or distilling a small quota, insufficient to solve the problem of stocks in the cellar. We would also need a different measure, or a corrective measure, to the 100 million euros allocated to green harvesting, which may not guarantee the desired results. We need to be able to “clean up” the quantities of wine with a designation of origin that weigh down on the market. Normality, intended as a return to pre-crisis economic levels, according to our and UIV - Unione Italiana Vini’s forecasts, will return not before the end of 2021, so it will take time, and the sector is suffering, especially premium wines. Certainly - concludes Verlicchi - something must be done, because it's true that the harvest is still far away, but the prospects are already very positive in quantitative terms, but we are waiting for the fruit set to imagine the actual progress of the next campaign”.

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