Rome

Excellent year expected for Italian wine, says Coldiretti

White wine benefits slightly more than red, production up

Excellent year expected for Italian wine, says Coldiretti

Rome, August 22 - Italian wine production is expected to rise and to be of "good quality" thanks to favourable weather conditions this year, the Italian farming association Coldiretti revealed on Thursday. The group foresees the production of 42 million hectolitres for 2013, up 3% over last year. Harvest has begun in the northern Italian Oltrepo' Pavese and Franciacorta areas - Lombardy's zones for prestigious white and sparkling wines. "The coming weeks will be decisive, but after years (of extreme weather) normality has returned," a Coldiretti statement said. "The weather has favoured an excellent maturation of the grapes," the group explained, adding that benefits for white wine production should slightly surpass red. Coldiretti said 331 Italian wines - or 40% of the total - will receive the DOC or the more selective DOCG quality designations. Thirty percent will be given the lower IGT denomination, while 30% will be labeled table-wine. Italy's 250,000 wine companies generate a turnover of nine billion euros and employ 1.2 million people. Coldiretti added that Italy will be the world's second wine producer this year after France, which is expected to make 46 million hectolitres. More than half of Italian wine will be destined for export, as wine consumption in Italy shrunk to a historic low of 22.6 million hectolitres in 2012.

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