2013 Grape Harvest Sees Italian Wine Production Up 8%
Italian vintners say production of Italian wine in 2013 has increased 8% from 2012 and predict that the wine will be of good quality. According to crop forecasts released by Italy’s largest producers’ association, Coldiretti, the 2013 vendemmia (grape harvest) will produce an estimated 44 million hectolitres of wine, thus surpassing France, which will produce an estimated 43.5 million hectolitres because of bad weather and hailstorms in the world’s most important wine region, Bordeaux. The good news is in spite of the fact that the 2013 grape harvest has been delayed by about 15 days compared to 2012. The estimates will be confirmed in the coming weeks given that, even in France, the harvest has been delayed and is expected to reach full capacity in mid-September. In Italy, the grape harvest has started with the pinot and chardonnay grapes intended for the production of sparkling wines. It continues throughout September and October with the collection of the Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Nebbiolo native red grapes. This year, the harvest will end in November with the Aglianico, Cabernet and Nerello grapes. Climactic conditions in summer 2013 favoured a slow but optimum ripening of grapes, resulting in very high quality. Monitoring of the grapes picked already suggests that the quality of white wine will increase in particular, and reds are expected to meet 2012 levels of quality and production. The 2013 harvest in Italy is being celebrated with a toast because of a 10% increase in the export value of Italian wines, which are heading towards hitting a record 5 billion shipments abroad if the current growth trend maintains until the end of the year.