Italy’s Wine Production May Slide 8% on Drought, Ismea Forecasts

Italy’s wine production may slide 8 percent this year after drought and heat damaged grapes, researcher Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo e Alimentara said.

Output may fall to 39.3 million hectoliters (1.04 billion gallons) from 42.7 million hectoliters in 2011, the Rome-based group wrote in an online report dated yesterday.

Italy was the world’s second-largest wine producer after France last year, according to figures from the International Organization of Vine and Wine. French production may slump 16 percent this year to 42.9 million hectoliters after frost, hail and an August heat wave harmed vines and grapes, the country’s Agriculture Ministry reported Sept. 6.

“Drought and heat carry the real blame for the scarcity of wine in the Italian cellars,” Ismea wrote. “The quality of the grapes itself promises to be good to excellent, with a sugar content that is higher than average.”

Production in Veneto, Italy’s biggest wine-growing region, may slide 12 percent to 7.67 million hectoliters, while output in Emilia Romagna is forecast to drop 9.8 percent to 5.82 million hectoliters.

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