The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - July 4

Italy's wine producers are looking to break into emerging markets in order to consolidate their lead in the world's export rankings. Italy was the top wine exporter last year in terms of volume, ahead of Spain and France, according to the International Wine and Vine Organization (OIV). But experts at the 61st congress of the Italian Oenologists Association (Assoenologi) stressed Monday that there is potential to do even better.

"Around 90% of our wine exports go to just 11 countries," said Stefano Raimondi, the wine and drinks director of the Italian Foreign Trade Institute (ICE). "We must conquer the other countries too - there are over 200 of them". Figures presented at the conference showed that Italian producers' attempts to break into new markets have paid handsome dividends in recent years.

Roughly half of Italian wine exports, which were worth nine billion euros in 2005, are absorbed by Europe. At the moment most of the rest goes to North America. Overall exports were up 10% last year. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano sent a message to the participants at the congress on the island of Ischia, near Naples, complimenting them on the progress made.