Allegrini 2018

Wine and EU markets: Tuscany is the leader of Italian PDO red wines, ahead of Veneto and Piedmont

Wine Monitor data for the Chianti Wine Consortium revealed, between 2013 and 2018, +3% for the Grand Duchy reds, versus 11% for Italy

The Tuscan PDO red wines remain the leaders on the main European markets, despite the difficult economic situation on the continent, as the Wine Monitor Nomisma study commissioned by the Chianti Wine Consortium revealed, which was presented recently in Milan. In 2018, the total value of PDO red wine exports from the Chianti Region, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, Bolgheri, Nobile del Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano, Maremma and Montecucco, to name a few of the denominations of the "Grand Duchy", amounted to 518.6 million euros, compared to 273.7 million euros in Veneto and 242 million euros in Piedmont. Looking more into detail, exports of Tuscany PDOs in 2018 to Germany amounted to 63 million euros compared to 36 million euros from Veneto, while in the United Kingdom it was just over 28 million euros, compared to 21 million euros for the Piedmont reds. This record, however, is the result of consolidating what has been done in the past, as well as of recent growth. As a matter of fact, between 2013 and 2018, Tuscan wines grew only +3%, compared to a national average of +11%, and Italy totaled 2.3 billion euros, (Australia instead registered +52%, 1.1 billion euros, and France + 14%, for 4.2 billion euros, while Spain grew +9%, to 1.3 billion euros).

The reasons for this modest growth rate of Tuscany PDOs, was primarily the difficult situation on the German market (-30% in value), on the English market (-5%) and somewhat on all European markets, with the exception of France (+49%) and the Czech Republic (+16%).

“We are noticing more and more that sales opportunities are coming from non-traditional importing countries. In Europe”, says Giovanni Busi, president of the Chianti Wine Consortium, “the case of France is exemplary in this regard, since it is growing at an interesting rate, driven by Italian restaurants, and concentrated most of all in the city of Paris. We should also take a careful and close look at Eastern European countries, where price positioning tends to be particularly rewarding”.

Of course, a lot of work needs to be done on prices. Taking into account only the red wines, Bordeaux dominates at an average price of 15.8 euros per bottle, Tuscany follows, but at quite a distance, 9.1 euros, and is also behind Piedmont, at an average price of 12.1 euros per bottle, but better than Veneto, at 7.8 euros.

At any rate, new outlet markets for Tuscany PDO red wines will be coming more and more from non-EU countries, which between 2013 and 2018 recorded total imports at +33%, compared to +9% in the EU countries. Considering only Italian wine, one notices that in the same period of time exports increased in value +28% in the non-EU areas, compared to +16% in the EU countries.

“In Chianti, between 2001 and 2018, we restructured on average 850 hectares of vineyards each year, meaning that companies invested more than 600 million euros”, continued Giovanni Busi, “and in the next six years we expect to increase our production from the current 100 million bottles to 120/130 million bottles. It therefore becomes crucial to find new countries as well as consolidate our position on traditional markets”.

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