Wine Culture and Information since 2002 - Volume 17
×
Home Page Events Wine Guide Wine of the Day Aquavitae Wine Places Guide Podcast Polls EnoGames EnoForum Serving Wine Alcohol Test
Follow DiWineTaste on DiWineTaste Mobile for Android DiWineTaste Mobile for iOS Become a Registered User Subscribe to the Mailing List Tell a Friend About DiWineTaste Download DiWineTaste Card
About Us Write Us Back Issues Advertising General Index
Privacy Policy
 


   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 67, October 2008   
Italy and France: the Eternal ChallengeItaly and France: the Eternal Challenge  Contents 
Issue 66, September 2008 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 68, November 2008

Italy and France: the Eternal Challenge


 There is a news going on in these days: Italy will surpass France and it will become the first country in the world for the production of wine. It is the eternal and renewed competition between two countries which are never tired of seeking opportunities in order to challenge each other in many ways. It is likely, with the harvesting of 2008, Italy will surpass France in facts of wine production: after many years of undisputed leading of France, this year Italy will produce more grapes - and therefore more wine - than their transalpine cousins, therefore becoming the first country in the world in terms of quantity. Right, quantity. What about quality? You can even make an ocean of wine and se the record of opulence, but what is so much wine for when most of it is pretty disappointing in terms of quality? Let's make things clear: the quality of Italian wine is undeniable, high, very high quality, it has nothing less than the wines of France or the wines of other countries.


 

 The same can certainly be said for the wines of France, after all, the concep of quality in wine making - it would be silly to deny this - was created in this country, later adopted everywhere in the world. And not all of the French wine is of excellent quality, and the same can be said for the wines of every country, including Italy. There is no doubt about the fact it is nice to know Italy will be successful in being distinguished in the world - and at least this time for a good reason - however we should also ask ourselves of this grape tha will set this record, how much of it will be used for the production of a wine worth of this name, how much grape will be destined to the production of wines, in the best of the cases, defined as ordinary? There are different kind of markets, every consumer has its own needs and not all look for quality in a wine, mainly because it is usually offered at very high prices and not all can afford paying so much money. Most of the times, the solution is to be content with mediocre wine, however decent and sold at a modest price. This too is market, undoubtedly.

 Let's discuss the news. According to the estimates of French Ministry of Agriculture, in 2008 in France will be harvested less grapes than the average of the last five years, a drop of more than 10%, a harvesting which is announced to be the least profitable one since 2000. This drop in harvesting is supposed to bring to a production of about 46 millions of hectoliters of wine, a quantity to be likely lesser than the one foreseen in Italy. According to Coldiretti - the Italian association for agricultural development and support - in 2008 the harvesting in Italy will increase from 5 to 10%, an estimate which would bring the production to more than 46 millions of hectoliters, therefore greater than France. According to these estimates, the historical surpass is likely to take place and will bring Italy to be the first wine producing country of the world in terms of quantity. This result, undoubtedly, is also the consequence of the different meteorological conditions in the two countries in the course of the year.

 In Italy there was an alternation of sun and moderate rains in most of the territory, whereas the meteorological conditions of France have been worse, strongly influencing harvesting, as to be defined the worse since 2000. This productive record is added to the other results obtained by Italy in agricultural and food areas. Italy is in fact the first European country in fac of production of rice, tobacco, fresh fruits and vegetables, in biological and quality productions designated as Indicazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Geographical Indication). How the grapes of Italian vineyards will be used? About 60% of the grapes will be destined to the production of Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita wines (DOCG, Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin), Denominazione d'Origine Controllata (DOC, Denomination of Controlled Origin) and Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT, Typical Geographical Indication), whereas the remaining 40% will be used for the production of generic table wines. An estimate like that should make anyone think about an increasing in terms of quality: it is not the case to start a controversy about the real quality of many wines having the DOCG, DOC and IGT acronyms in their labels.

 How will it be the Italian wine of 2008 vintage? According to the estimates of Assoenologi - the Italian association of wine makers - the quality of wine will be very good, some of them will also reach excellence, something which is mostly expected for the wines of the South. It will be the South of Italy to set the highest productive records, whereas in the regions of the North it is likely to see some drops - about 10% in Lombardy and 5% in Piedmont - however obtaining an overall stable production in regard to 2007. In the South will be distinguished Sicily, with an increase of 55%, Apulia and Campania with 10%, whereas in the central area will be Marches to lead the production with an increase of 25%, followed by Abruzzo with 15% and Latium with 10%. According to Assoenologi, 2008 will give wines of very good quality, in particular white and sparkling wines in the North, whereas for red wines it is necessary to wai for the meteorological conditions in September in order to say something meaningful. We will have good red wines in case we will have sunny days with scarce rains, with good thermal excursions in the night.

 Estimates, predictions and, of course, nothing certain: only facts will tell whether these estimates will become reality or not. In case will happen the so expected and historical event of Italy surpassing France, this too must be confirmed by facts. As well as for the quality of 2008 vintage - including all the other ones - must be confirmed by facts by passing on a glass. Estimates and predictions can be amazing and exciting, as long as they don't become a disappointment. Whether Italy will surpass France or not, it will not be so important, at least not for wine lovers who always expect quality in their glasses, while having no interest about quantity. Moreover, in an increasing atmosphere of contrast which never brings anything good and which is frequently based on reasons of silly and exaggerated attachments to the culture and traditions of one's country, would not it be the time to go beyond this truly narrow vision? Hopefully passing for a good wine, where Italians and the French raise their glasses and make a friendly toast to the quality of their respective and excellent wines.

 




   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 67, October 2008   
Italy and France: the Eternal ChallengeItaly and France: the Eternal Challenge  Contents 
DiWineTaste Polls
When you buy a wine, you are mainly interested in:


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
What kind of wine do you like having in August?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
In choosing a wine, what is the most important factor?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   



Privacy Policy

Download your free DiWineTaste Card  :  Test your Blood Alcohol Content  :  Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter

Download DiWineTaste
Copyright © 2002-2019 Antonello Biancalana, DiWineTaste - All rights reserved
All rights reserved under international copyright conventions. No part of this publication and of this WEB site may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from DiWineTaste.