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ALL THE RECORDS OF THE ITALIAN SPARKLING WHITE BETWEEN THE ESSENCES OF GOLD DUST AND PRODUCTION WITH A MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT.
Italy has always been the land of good wine, but for some years now sparkling white wines, above all, should also be added to this description. Clichés apart, it is the figures provided by Italian Federation of Farmers on the basis of statistics produced by the National Statistical Institute (ISTAT), that provide a picture of a sector of absolute excellence for Italian-made wines, that makes this accolade to the Italian sparkling product possible.
An immediate examination of the financial results reveals that compared to a 5% growth in wine exports in 2012, the increase in the sales of sparkling wines on the international markets has now reached 14%. But the first quarter of 2013 shows even better results and exceeds last year’s record when Italian sparkling wine held first place: 20% and stealing ground from the more costly French champagne. Italian sparkling wine has therefore proved itself as the Italian-produced “anti-crisis” product par excellence, with a turnover for 2013 that could reach an all-time high. What has also increased, in fact, is the value of domestic sales, with purchases by Italian families rising by 10% in the first quarter of the year. What has proved surprising is that in two markets in particular, both with enormous potential, sales have rocketed. These are in Russia, where sales of Italian sparkling wines have more than quadrupled in value ( 346%), and China, where sales have leapt by 147%. As the Italian Federation of Farmers (Coldiretti) points out: “Italian sparkling wine has established itself as the true driving force behind Italian made products around the world, where it is expanding both in terms of value and in the number of bottles.”
And, according to Coldiretti’s reports, the Italian produced sparkling wines are also driving the market in the United States, with an increase of 21%, but the outlook for sales on all five Continents, Europe included, does appear positive. In this respect the figures for Great Britain have been excellent, with a thunderous 56%. However sales in France (-31%) and in Germany (-17%) have fallen, and it is precisely in the latter of the two where imitations of the Italian bubbly, such as Kressecco and Meer-Secco are gradually becoming commonly available. Although it has to be said that there is no shortage of examples of ‘imitations’ on all continents and in countries such as Brazil, where it is the prosecco that has incurred the greatest damage from this form of plagiarism. The best results abroad have come precisely from the Protected Designation of Origin sparkling wines such as Asti and Prosecco ( 29%) whilst sales of other, more common, sparkling wines have fallen (-3%). Italy produced over 400 million bottles of sparkling wine in 2012, from a mix of traditional and Italian methods of production, resulting in a turnover, at its source (the winery), of €1.2 billion. Domestic consumption of bubbly stood at 145 million bottles, for a total value at the point of origin that was equal to €380 million. This means that 65% of the wine produced in Italy is exported, that is to say that more than 6 out of every 10 bottles of Italian sparkling wine are uncorked abroad.
The global success of Italian sparkling wine lies in the success of the many local producers and in their becoming firmly established within the country. The story of sparkling wine is in fact one of a production that continues to focus on a quality that begins in the different geographical areas of production. The common factor between excellence and local production, which is also the undoubted key to success, was evident at the annual Vinitaly 2013 event, which also witnessed the presence of the sparkling wines that have embraced the culture of other traditional areas of production, such as that of the goldsmiths, to produce a white wine with a hint of gold dust.
In a maritime city such as Genoa, on the other hand, the sparkling wine that has been produced there is allowed to age for 12 months in the sea at a depth of 60 metres. Innovation and local production operating side by side as is the case of the famous sparkling wine that is accompanied orchestral music during all the various stages of its production. The music is for celebrating a product that continues to reward the world with flavoursome notes of quality.