Developments in Alto Adige Winemaking

Developments in Alto Adige Winemaking

Between Demands for Quality, Single Vineyard Wines, and Sustainable Growth

Something is always going on in the world of Alto Adige wine. That is also demonstrated by the 2020 study published by WIFO (the Institute for Economic Research of the Bolzano Chamber of Commerce). Within that framework, ninety-six Alto Adige winegrowers were surveyed on the development of the Alto Adige wine sector over the past thirteen years.

The most important findings of the study are as follows:

  1. Preference for the whites: With 5,455 hectares (13,480 acres), the total area under cultivation has hardly changed over the past thirteen years. There have, however, been considerable shifts in the distribution of the grape varieties: while in 2005, some 46.2% of grape growing areas was dedicated to white wine grapes in Alto Adige, today that figure has grown to 62.3%. Along those lines, the greatest increases in area were recorded by Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Grigio. With the red wine varieties, it is clearly striking that the area planted with Schiava (Vernatsch) has been reduced by nearly half.
  2. Which markets are the leading ones: The main sales markets continue to be Alto Adige, Italy, Germany, and the USA. While thirteen years ago, the majority of the bottles remained in Alto Adige itself, today they are sold primarily in the rest of Italy. In Italy, the sales figures have more than doubled during the period that was analyzed. In addition, new sales markets have been opened up, namely, the Benelux countries, Russia, Canada, and Japan.
  3. Where Alto Adige wine ends up: Around half of the 750 ml bottles are sold to hotels, restaurants, and cafés. Retail sales in wine shops are another important sales channel. While the large-scale producers also sell their wines in retail grocery stores, smaller wineries more commonly offer theirs in their own winery stores.
  4. The most popular format: Over the past thirteen years, sales of 750 ml bottles have grown substantially. In 2018, over 93% of the DOC wines were sold in that format.
  5. Location, Location, Location: With regard to the importance of single vineyard wines, the producers of all size categories are in agreement. They see great potential here for the future! In their opinion, only with the assistance of single vineyard wines can sustainable wine production be arrived at successfully. Because that is currently the greatest challenge.

With the findings from this study, the correct conclusions will now be drawn in consideration of the current situation with the coronavirus in order to sustainably boost wine sales.
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