After a record-breaking export year, Italy now has nearly a quarter of the global wine market, according to the latest statistics.
Prosecco: export surge
National statistics agency ISTAT reported exports of Italian wine rose by 12% to more than €4.4bn.
Exports by volume were also up, by 9%, to 24m hectolitres, giving Italy a 22% share of the global wine market, the agency said.
The US was the most significant export market in value terms, followed by Germany and the UK, while Germany was the leading importer of Italian wine by volume.
Prosecco led the charge with a surge in shipments of more than 17% to the US, ISTAT added.
Giovanni Mantovani, director general of Veronafiere, which organises the annual Vinitaly trade fair, said there had been ‘a growth of professionalism’ among Italian producers of all sizes.
‘So, alongside great names, it is now easier to find small producers who are appreciated in restaurants and wine bars around the world,’ Mantovani added.
‘Everyone finds their own channel or market niche based on their potential.’
Italy outstripped France to become the world’s biggest wine producer in 2010 – the last year for which figures are available – bottling nearly 5bn litres of wine.
More than 4,200 producers are due to exhibit their wines at Vinitaly, which is held on 25-28 March in Verona.
Written by Richard Woodard