Italian wines: historic levels of growth

In the past 10 years, trade value of the secondary market has grown at a compounded annual rate of 9.0% – trade value for Italian wines in that same period, 28.5%. As the wine market continues its broadening into 2020, Italy is at the forefront of growth once again.

Unique LWIN11s traded for Italy increased 153.6% from January to the end of July. Additionally, in the first seven months of the year, Italian trade value was up over 70% year on year. Just this morning, the value of Italian wine trade in 2020 surpassed the whole of 2019, and volume is soon to follow.

Italian LWIN11s traded by region

Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino and the much smaller Chianti Classico have all seen their LWIN growth surpass 300% in the first seven months of the year, charted above. Bolgheri and Toscana, which includes the five Super Tuscans, has lagged behind the growth rates of other areas.

Super Tuscans dominated trade by value for Italy, up until this year. Barolo and Barbaresco combined to surpass these once dominant wines, seen in the chart below. Giacomo Conterno, Barolo Riserva Monfortino 2013 led trade by value in the first seven months of the year, far outpacing Sassicaia 2017, second on the list. The most traded by volume was Produttori Barbaresco, Barbaresco 2016. This was the first time that two Piedmont wines have held these accolades.

Super Tuscan v. Piedmont – share of Italy trade by value

 

This is not to say the Super Tuscans have missed out on the action. The Italy 100 is up 2.37% year-to-date and up 4.29% over a one-year period, the second-best performing index over the two periods. Within this, the Super Tuscans have risen 4.2% year-to-date and 8.8% over a one-year period.

There are several reasons as to why Italy has done so well in 2020, not least being immune from the effects of the 25% US tariffs on EU wines with an 14% ABV and under. The wines of Italy continue to offer relative value against the top wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy and recent vintages (2015, 2016 and 2017) are considered to set new benchmarks for many producers. With few signs of headwinds ahead for Italy the country seems certain to remain in focus as the year rolls on.