ItalianWine of Wineries


2.3. Statistical series of the DOs

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FIG1The data of this work, summarized in Table 5.5 Evolution of the Italian DO in the Menu statistical series of DO, allow following the development by Region of the different DO recognize by Presidential or Ministerial Decrees within the "Wine" sector. They come from different sources: the "Codice delle Denominazioni di Origine dei Vini" (Code of Wine Denominations of Origin) periodically published by Unione Italiana Vini, and others such as ISMEA, ISTAT, FEDERDOC, AGEA, Valoritalia, and other certification bodies.

The statistical series of data are often not comparable as they vary for different volumes according to the sources; discrepancies are easily detectable and highlighted in this paper. In 2012 series compared wine "claimed to" with the "certified" one and the "bottled" one, according to the data provided by the bodies in charge of control.

For each Region and DO, the tables report the primary production data in hectoliters with relevant graphical representations highlighting the trend lines. Moreover, the areas declared in the relative registers of vineyards are also indicated. They are of guidance to outline the evolution of the different appellations.

Northern Italy regions see AGEA data - less Liguria and Val d'Aosta - higher than ISTAT data, as the former include wines, musts, and concentrated musts and rectified concentrated musts of other regions.

In central Italy, the ISTAT production data is higher than the AGEA one, probably because of lower production than declared.
In the southern regions - less Apulia and Sicily - ISTAT data are higher than AGEA data because they include self-consumption.

 Each sheet presents an analysis highlighting the main aspects of strengths and weaknesses.

Puglia and Sicily are difficult to interpret.

The same is for the vineyard areas that, from time to time, go from "registered" to "reference," to "equivalent," to "claimed," to "certified"; the latter is undoubtedly the most reliable as it defines the target "use" of the DO by the bottler and therefore the real valorization of the wine released for consumption.

From the very beginning, the OCM wine Reg CE n 24/62 provided a wine inventory with which to manage the support policies of the sector, delayed over the years because the uncertainty of the numbers could thrive small and large illegalities that have characterized both geographically and by type of business, transversally and longitudinally the country.

The revision of the CAP and the need to contain costs have reduced the price support policy (distillation and storage) in favor of controlling production potential, quality policy, and rural development.

Finally, after several hesitations, Italy has radically changed (DL 61/2010) the management of the national wine system by creating a computer database called "Schedario Vitivinicolo" (integrated into the SIAN National Agricultural Information System) in which the data of the old complaints made of cadastral producer, were compared with a satellite tracking system (GIS) of more certain attribution.

This system contains the data of the production potential referred to each vineyard (areas, varieties, technical characteristics of vineyards, planting rights) and the obtained products from them; the file also includes the register of DO and IG vineyards connected to the annual production claims.

The producer can modify the database in the business file that includes his or her farm when the producer can register new areas (for the purchase of rights - concessions or for the removal of equivalent areas) claims and certify these to the possible denominations on that plot. Therefore, the last one is the most reliable of these steps because it relates to the certification.

Note that, sometimes, bottling is preceded by aging for several years, and therefore bottling data are not comparable (Brunello, Barolo, Chianti, and others) with annual productions.

On the other hand, consider the registers' area as indicative because the same vineyard can have more claims.

It is evident that territories having a structured and historically recognized viticulture, both by domestic and foreign markets, thus maintain a collection of DOs consolidated in time; viticulture which identifies Italy with wines of excellence, such as Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, Soave, Valpolicella, and others.

The change in the way of living, social values, and commercial policies open new spaces and potentialities for viticulture. It still has possibilities of expansion with growing volumes and "exploits" rarely seen in the history of world viticulture; an example is the already mentioned disruptive success of Prosecco wine, also appreciated by the new generations and that has seen the expansion of its surface with an increase of more than 300% from 2000 to 2015.

Weak regional viticultures, characterized by DOs with insufficient critical mass - Calabria, Basilicata, Campania, Sardinia, Molise, Umbria, Marche, Lazio, Liguria - are obliged to a network aggregation by companies using their Denominations; this is the only way to acquire an image on the market and defend territory and tradition.

Despite the vast surface of vineyards, some Italian regions do not have significant and renowned DOs. These have oriented their policy to IGPs or commodity wines, and among them, Puglia and Sicily stand out.

In conclusion,  the future of DOs depends on the level of awareness reached by winegrowers who are aware of the fact that only the defense of typicality, represented by the territory, their work, and their decisions, can give those surplus values recognized in the "goodwill," value of the collective quality brand (identifiable with the Denomination of Origin).

In table 5.14, The most representative DO, and IG (>100,000 hl) show the national situation in comparison, the most relevant denominations, and indications as critical mass (annual production over 100,000 hl). Some numbers measure the dispersion of denominations (9%  DOs represent 80% of  Denomination wines,  13.5% IGTs weigh 94% ) and the consequent difficulty in being recognized and therefore memorized by the consumer, except for the 36 DOs and 16 IGs highlighted in the table.


Every Region invests almost all of its resources to promote wines in these categories. It is natural to ask about using so much public money divided into thousands of streams with repetitive messages and sometimes competing among the many institutions (Regional Departments, Chambers of Commerce, Protection Consortia, Regional Enotecas, and others.).

This ranking confirms how the category of "IG" wines is well represented along the peninsula and is propaedeutic to a positive evolution towards "DO."

It is confirmed among DOs that Prosecco's supremacy with great detachment from the other denominations, and Veneto, with ten denominations, is the dominant territory.

Piedmont follows with six appellations, and Tuscany is in the ranking with the most ancient appellation (Chianti) and widespread in its territory. These three regions alone represent 73% of the DO wine produced in Italy and rightly are the most renowned areas abroad.

In the successive positions stand out Emilia Romagna with Lambrusco, Pignoletto, and Sangiovese, whereas Trentino Alto Adige appears in the ranking showing the most enviable distinctive index between the breadth of the territory (modest) and enological notoriety (high).

However, the table shows Italy is a wine-producing area with a northern vocation and how far other regions must go to distinguish themselves in a sector where visibility is a reason for success. It also indicates that there are flagship vines to defend and strengthen (Vermentino, Verdicchio, Montepulciano, Primitivo, and Cannonau) because their possible crisis would represent the loss of an entire territory.


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