Italy's 2009 vintage – and fire sale


The Assoenologi, Italy’s association of oenologists, has officially declared the 2009 vintage ‘very good’, a positive assessment in an otherwise less than glorious picture overall. Volume is down by 4% in comparison with 2008 (44.5 m hl against 46.3 the previous year), which surely is a good thing for a wine-producing country that still favours quantity over quality, but where grape and wine prices have reportedly fallen by up to 40%. Rumours of cellars full of unsold wine, notably in Piemonte, seem not so fanciful.

Italy has seen its total vineyard plantings fall from 1.23 m ha in 1980 to...