Italian farmers’ association Coldiretti has said the nation’s wine output is forecast to fall significantly this year, with extreme-weather events linked to the climate crisis having a massive impact on the sector.
It said Italy is set to remain the world’s biggest wine producer this year with an output of 44.5 million hectolitres, despite a forecast 9% drop in production with respect to 2020 and to the average for the last five years.
“The multiplication of extreme climate events are putting harvests at risk with increasing frequency,” Coldiretti said.
“(Global) warming has changed Made in Italy wine.
“Over the last 30 years the alcohol content has increased by a percentage point.
“The increase in the average temperature has also increasingly frequently determined an early harvest, which is often a month before its traditional time in September.
“The proverb that says ‘in August you fill your larder and in September the cellar’ no longer holds”.
The climate crisis is not just affecting Italian wine production.
The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) said extremely low world wine production volume is expected in 2021, at a level similar to 2017, and it is expected to be the third consecutive year in which the global production level is below average.
It said low production volume is anticipated in the EU, especially Spain and France, as well as Italy, due late spring frost and overall unfavourable climatic conditions.