Italy may have out paced France for most wine produced, but a new census shows that Italian vineyards are slowly disappearing.
Between 2000 and 2010, the number of wineries in Italy fell by 51.5%. In the Lazio region, the decline was a shocking 70.5%, from 69,371 to 20,485 wineries.
It is not just the number of farmers disappearing, but also the land use that is falling. Over the ten-year time span, 85,193 acres of vineyards were uprooted. The decade-long loss works out to the destruction of more than 23 hectares of vineyard per day. Liguria saw the greatest loss, with a 44.5% decrease in plantings.
Even with the overall decline in cultivated acres, many wine producing regions maintained a large expanse of planted vineyards.
Sicily has the largest area under cultivation with 110,699 hectares of vineyards. Apulia comes in second with 96,750 ha, while Veneto is third with 73,708 ha. Famed wine region Tuscany ranks fourth 56,587 ha, pulling slightly ahead of Emilia Romagna’s 55,814 ha.