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Italy’s Wine Output to Rise 8.4% as Piedmont and Sicily Recover

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Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Italy’s wine output may jump 8.4 percent after grape harvests in Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna and Sicily recovered from drought last year, researcher Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo e Alimentara forecast.

Production is expected to rise to 44.5 million hectoliters (1.18 billion gallons) from 41.1 million hectoliters last year, the Rome-based group wrote in a report dated Sept. 17 and published online today.

Italy was the world’s second-largest wine producer after France last year, production data show. French output may rebound at a slower pace after a wet and cold June hurt pollination, with the 2013 volume up 7.5 percent to 44.5 million hectoliters, France’s Agriculture Ministry predicts.

“At the moment everything leads us to believe that 2013 wine production should be higher than the not particularly abundant one of 2012,” ISMEA wrote. “Caution is always required but this year even more so. Most of the grapes are still in the field.”

Production in Veneto, Italy’s biggest wine-growing region and known for its Valpolicella reds, is forecast to rise 4 percent to 8.05 million hectoliters.

Volume in Piedmont, home to the Barolo and Barbaresco wines, is predicted to increase 7.5 percent to 2.54 million hectoliters, while Tuscany production may climb 5 percent to 2.2 million hectoliters, according to ISMEA.

Veneto’s grape development is about two weeks delayed after prolonged rain, ISMEA reported. Some areas in Valpolicella received as much rain by the end of May as in all of 2012, according to the report.

Delays

Grapes in Piedmont are about 15 to 20 days delayed compared with 2012 after a “very rainy” spring, with ripening starting at the end of July rather than the start, and berries of the nebbiolo variety only fully colored at the start of September, according to ISMEA.

Output in Emilia-Romagna, which produces Lambrusco, is forecast to jump 10 percent to 6.9 million hectoliters.

In Puglia in the south, wine production is seen advancing 14 percent to 6.09 million hectoliters, while the volume of wine in Sicily may jump 17 percent to 6.05 million hectoliters.

“The regions in the south seem to recover more, in terms of percentage increase, that those of the north,” ISMEA wrote.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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