Economy - published on 19 September 2023
Source: Coldiretti Treviso press office
First of all, my thoughts go out to those realities affected by serious weather events that have seen their grape harvest compromised. As far as the harvest year is concerned, however, I can say that it is truly extraordinary in terms of quality and quantity. Good work again to all those who are, with passion and care, carrying out the harvest. With these words Giorgio Polegato, president of Coldiretti Treviso, analyses the positive sign of wine production in Veneto. This is what emerges from an analysis of Coldiretti on the occasion of the disclosure of the mid-harvest estimates of Assoenologi, Ismea and Uiv. Our region records a +5%, confirming itself as one of the few that have increased their harvest in Italy.
Italian production,” Coldiretti emphasises, “is estimated at around 43.9 million hectolitres, down 12% compared to 2022, making 2023 one of the worst years in the history of Italian vineyards in the last century along with 1948, 2007 and 2017. The result is that for the first time in years, Italy,” Coldiretti points out, “may no longer be the world’s largest producer of wine, surpassed in quantity by France, which is expected to produce 45 million according to the latest bulletin of the French Ministry of Agriculture on 8 September. A still open game after the arrival of the sun in the first half of the month was a real boon for the grape harvest that – Coldiretti points out – continues in September and October with Glera grapes for Prosecco and with the great native red grapes Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo and even ends in November with the grapes of Aglianico and Nerello on 658 thousand hectares cultivated nationally.
The challenge with our French cousins is in fact above all on the valorisation of production, which in Italy is still expected to be of high quality and – Coldiretti emphasises – can count on 635 varieties entered in the vine register, twice as many as the French, with about 70% of Made in Italy bottles destined for Docg, Doc and Igt wines with 332 DOC (controlled designation of origin) wines, 76 DOCG (controlled and guaranteed designation of origin) wines, and 118 IGT (typical geographic indication) wines recognised in Italy, and the remaining 30% for table wines, demonstrating the rich heritage of biodiversity with local wines of the highest quality thanks to a millenary tradition. The process of qualification of Made in Italy wine is confirmed by the success of exports to France as well, where more and more Italian bottles are being drunk, with a +18.5% leap in value of national wine exports beyond the Alps in the first five months of 2023, according to Coldiretti processing of Istat data.
Wine is the most exported Italian agro-food product abroad with a value of 7.9 billion on world markets in 2022, creating job opportunities ranging from wine growers to cellar workers to commercial distribution, and extending to related, service and induced sectors in the most diverse areas: from the glass industry to the cork stopper industry, from transport to insurance, from accessories such as corkscrews and sabres, from nurseries to packaging, from research and training to popularisation, from wine tourism to cosmetics and the wellness market, from publishing to advertising, from software programmes to bioenergy obtained from pruning residues and wine-making by-products (lees, marc and stalks).
A treasure of Made in Italy on the future of which, however, weigh the uncertainties linked to the policies adopted by the European Union,” Coldiretti points out, “starting with the choice of the Commission to give the green light to the introduction of alarmist labels on wine decided by Ireland. The right commitment of the Union to protect the health of citizens, according to Coldiretti, cannot, in fact, be translated into simplistic decisions that risk unfairly criminalising individual products regardless of the quantities consumed.
But Made in Italy wine – explains Coldiretti – also has to face other attacks, from the EU decision to authorise the total or partial elimination of alcohol even in wines with a denomination of origin to the practice of sugaring, to wine without grapes with the authorisation to produce and market wines obtained from the fermentation of fruit other than grapes such as raspberries and currants that are very popular in Eastern countries. But also weighing in are the risks associated with applications for recognition of designations that evoke Made in Italy excellence,” Coldiretti recalls, “as in the case of Croatian Prosek, a sweet dessert wine traditionally from southern Dalmatia, against whose application for registration as a traditional mention Italy has appealed on the grounds that it could damage Prosecco.
Wine represents a heritage of Made in Italy, also from the point of view of employment, which must be defended against attempts to blame it on the basis of an ideological approach that does not take into account a millenary history that has contributed not only to the greatness of our agri-food industry, but is also fully part of the Mediterranean Diet that in recent years has seen Italians excel in longevity at European and world level, – said Coldiretti President Ettore Prandini.
Translated by Cecilia Flaccavento
Intern at the Chamber of Commerce of Treviso – Belluno|Dolomites