Grapevine & Wine 06/09/2010

The Italian wine industry hopes to produce more than 4.6 billion liters again

The impact of the green grape harvest, first activated this year, will have to be evaluated, as well as the pathogens risks due to humidity in certain areas

The productive estimates for the next grape harvest suggest a growth from last year, even though smaller than 5%. In volume, the 2010 campaign would reach the levels of 2008 and pass the 4.6 billion liters. The Istat data from 2009 revealed a production of 4.54 billion liters. It is expected a good quality overall, as stated by a preliminary survey by Ismean and Unione Italiana Vini, dating to early July.

It is necessary to be cautious, since the most important period is usually the end of July and the month of August. The key will be if the water reserves from the winter will be able to contrast the heat wave and if the potential risk of pathogenic attacks will be limited and controlled as it appeared, although the risk is especially relevant in very humid areas.

This year the outcome of the campaign will also be influenced by the green grape harvest, which will be carried out for the first time and takes raw away from the production. Additionally, the cultivated surface was reduced by financed grubbing. In 2010, applications for a reduction of 10,741 hectares have been accepted, and have to be added to the 11,571 hectares from 2009. In many areas the reduction of the surface also has quality purposes.

The Vigneto Italia has got back to a “normal” calendar this year, after the early harvest of 2009: the cold of the lengthy and rainy winter has slowed down the development of the vegetation, with a subsequent delay in almost all phenologic phases.

The production is substantially homogeneous in the whole country. In the North, all regions show equal or slightly higher productive levels with respect to 2009. Same for the Center, but for Marche, where, like in the South, there is a partial recovery from last year losses. The only regions that do not follow these trends are the two main islands.

di Graziano Alderighi