Production in 2008 is likely to be 8% higher than it was in 2007, according to the Coldiretti farmers’ lobby. The figure is estimated at 4.7 billion litres, compared to 4.4 billion litres in France.
The bumper 2008 vintage is one factor behind the increase, which would see Italy eclipse France for the first time since 1998.
Estimates from Assoenologi, an association of Italian wine producers, are slightly less optimistic but still measure production at 44.5 billion litres, an increase of 5% on the 2007 figure.
According to Associated Press reports quoting Assoenologi, this gives Italy a 17% share of the world wine market and one third of the European market.