Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Italy, with france one of the world’s two mammoth wine producers, sometimes producing as much as 50 million hl/1,320 million gal a year. Italy has more land under vine than any other country other than France and spain, although thanks to the European vine pull scheme, the total has been reduced from close to 1.4 million ha/3.4 million acres in the early 1990s to barely half that, a forecast 750,000 ha/1.85 million, acres by 2015. Italy and France are routinely the world’s biggest wine exporters. A significant but declining proportion of the wine exported from Italy has been inexpensive wine for blending in and possible re-export from France and Germany, but a good 60% of exports are now in bottle and Italy’s top wines are sought after around the world, especially in the US and German-speaking markets.