The price of table wine in Italy has risen by 30% over the last 10 years, while prices of DOC wines have remained more stable.

The statistics come from the Salone del Vino Observatory, a wine trend monitoring centre set up for Turin’s Salone del Vino wine fair, which has just had its second annual edition.

The Observatory found the price of white table wines rose by 30%, and the price of reds rose by 19%. Bulk wine has risen by an average of 15%, while bulk wine production in 2002 fell to 43m hectoliters, the lowest since 1950. In 2001 production was 52m hl, and throughout the 1990s the average was 61m hl.

In contrast to the price hike for table and bulk wines, prices for DOC wines have remained stable, increasing by just 6% for reds and 1.2% for whites over a 10-year period.

Observatory director Gianprimo Quagliano – who is also professor of statistics and research at Bologna University – told decanter.com consumption levels in Italy are behind France and Spain because wine in Italy is no longer considered a staple part of every meal.

When Italy was still an agricultural economy – until the late 1960s – wine was still considered a food product, and a bottle of the cheapest bulk red was on every table twice a day.

‘Today lifestyles have changed,’ Quagliano said. ‘Italy is an industrial country, meals are consumed in a hurry and not at home, and all this influences consumption patterns.’

He added, ‘Wine in Italy has improved in quality and fallen in quantity. It is consumed on special occasions rather than as an everyday product.’

  • Attendance numbers were up by 25% at Salone del Vino, organisers said. The second edition of the fair needed a 40% increase in exhibition space.

    The fair, which took place in Turin from 22-25 November, aims to showcase the wines of smaller and medium-sized producers. 1,175 exhibitors from established estates and emerging wineries showed their wines to some 37,000 visitors over four days.

    Written by Michele Shah3 December 2002