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Friday 4 August 2023

Italy facing disastrous 2023 wine vintage

Extreme weather conditions are threatening a much-reduced 2023 wine vintage crop in Italy.

The harvest could shrink up to 14% due to the effects of intense heat, storms and other weather issues linked to climate change, leading agriculture group Coldiretti said on its website.

Rome-based Coldiretti is the free trade association of agricultural entrepreneurs and farmers.

It is still early days and much depends on conditions in the coming weeks but it predicted national production could be around 43 million hectolitres in 2023, compared to 50 million hectolitres last year, the organisation says.

If this forecast is accurate, 2023 would rank alongside 1948, 2007 and 2017 as one of the smallest Italian wine harvests on record, it said.

The situation varies significantly across regions, Coldiretti said. Southern and central areas of Italy are facing heavier potential falls in production than those in the north.

Parts of northern Italy did suffer hailstorms in recent weeks, but Coldiretti said potential yields appeared to be stable in Piedmont, Lombardy and the Veneto for the time being.

In Sicily, local communities have been among many in Europe facing devastating wildfires in recent weeks. In the vineyards, there have been concerns about the impact of heat and mildew on the 2023 harvest size.

"In a complex season in terms of weather, the 2023 harvest begins by paying a heavy price to the effects of climate change which, between bad weather and heat waves, have damaged the vineyards with national production estimated to drop by about 14% but with collapses up to 50% in the centre and south," the organisation said.

"This would be the worst result of the century for those areas."

In some areas between Molise and Abruzzo (top image) tere is a reduction of 60% of the bunches to be harvested.

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