(ANSA) - Rome, July 25 - The leading Italian farmers' union on Wednesday announced that recent storms only exacerbated the damage wrought by months of drought in Italy and the wine industry was among the most serious victims. Recent weather is responsible for a "crazy summer", according to Coldiretti, which blames a prolonged dry spell followed by snap rain and hail storms for more than half a billion euros in damage to fruit and vegetable crops. Italy's wine harvest suffered "irreversible damage", Coldiretti said. In the northern Lombardy region, Pinot and Bonarda vineyards were hard-hit, while in northwestern Piedmont roughly 90% of Barbera and Timorasso grapes suffered damage on the vine from egg-size hail. Italy's Civil Protection Department issued a warning for heavy storms in central and southern Italy through Wednesday, with sunshine expected to return Thursday following the Circe Cyclone.
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di Giovanni Pastore