How Italy shrunk its vintage


The 2011 vintage in Italy has turned out to be the smallest vintage the country has produced since the 1940s. At the beginning of the harvest, Assoenologi, the Italian Association of Enologists, was still very upbeat and predicted a great year. It also estimated that volumes would be down by 5% compared to the previous vintage. Since then it has had to correct both predictions.

While the quality of 2011 is heterogeneous, to say the least, the total volume harvested was down by no less than 14% (40.3 million hectolitres) compared to 2010. Because of this, Italy has lost its...