Italian wine harvest shows good quality but drop in quantity

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Italy's 2009 wine vintage will be generally very good, but output will be lower than expected because of unusually hot weather followed by torrential rain, the national association of growers said Saturday.

Total production is estimated at 44.5 million hectolitres, four percent lower than forecast, compared with 46.3 million in 2008.

"The 2009 production is of generally excellent quality especially in the centre and north, but clearly below the average quantity of the preceding five and 10 years, local media quoted association head Giuseppe Martelli as saying.

The fall was particularly acute in the south, including Puglia, Abruzzo and Sicily, but partially compensated by rises in such areas as Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and around Venice.

Martelli also said that the market was weak and Italian bulk wine prices were down 13.3 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period of 2008.

The global financial situation favoured quality wines but at restricted prices, Martelli said, adding that Italian wine had held its own but at a cost of reduced margins for producers.