Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wine's enormous impact on the Italian economy

The Italian news agency ANSA recently reported on the value of wine to the Italian economy as well as the impact of governmental regulations and control on that sector.

Wine is Italy's leading agricultural export and last year [2007] the value of wine exports hit 3.3 billion euros, about 25% of all farm exports. Yet, of the over 5,000 vineyards exporting Italian wine only a couple of hundred sell more than a container-full.

The industry is highly regulated with 21 agencies and offices involved in regulating and inspecting vineyards. One commentator noted that all these regulations require an Italian winemaker to spend 25% of his time filling out forms and making reports. Another problem facing the sector, experts pointed out, was that in Italy there are only 352 Italian vineyard certified to produce wines which guarantee quality and origin, only 30% of the total, compared to 474 in France. With such governmental involvement, there are vineyards which have accreditation on paper but are nor bottling wine.



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