Italy has surpassed France to take to crown of world largest wine producer in 2015, according to European Union data. This year’s benign weather conditions have resulted in an abundant grape harvest across the Mediterranean peninsula, as opposed to that reaped on the other side of the Alps.
The figures submitted to the European Commission in mid-September show total output approaching 50 million hectolitres, while in France production declined by one percent. The Burgundy and Beaujolais regions were worst affected, but it’s thought that both areas could see price rises in the coming months.
One reason for the rise in Italian output is simply that the 2014 harvest was particularly bad due to the weather.
Despite this year’s overall good conditions some vineyards were forced to use emergency irrigation in the July heat.
But thanks to a cooler September, the 2015 Italian harvest is set to yield what one producer described as a “pretty good vintage”.