Italian wine a driving force of Made in Italy as international sales keep posting solid growth

Italian wines have been a driving force behind ‘Made in Italy’ food products. According to a report by Mediobanca, this year 19 of the top 30 wine producers generate more than 50% of their sales abroad.

Signs are good all around. An analysis of 140 Italian companies with more than €25 million in turnover shows that revenues increased by 6% in 2016, thanks especially to the international market (+6.6%) and a revitalized domestic market (+5.3%, though in reality these general figures are much more contained.)

Sales for non-cooperatives grew by 6.4% in 2016 (+5.8% abroad,) while sales for cooperative companies increased by 5.9% (+7.5% abroad.) Spumante has had the biggest development (+13.6%,) thanks both to foreign sales (+13%) and the domestic market (+14.1%,) whereas other wines only reached +4.4% (+5.6% abroad.)

Investments are still going strong at +6.6%, and employment is up +0.4%. One of the Italian wine industry’s strengths is Italy’s cooperative model: in 2016’s turnover rankings, the Riunite-GIV winemakers took the top spot with €566 million in sales (+3.6%.) Second place went to Caviro, an Emilia-based cooperative that had €304 million in sales.

The top-ranked private company was Palazzo Antinori, with €218 million (+4.5%.) The Zonin winemaking group remained stable in 4th place with €193 million (+5.1%) while Cavit, a Trento-based cooperative, jumped up two spots (+6.7%, with €178 million in turnover.)

Seven companies grew by more than 10% in 2016: the record goes to La Marca, a Treviso-based cooperative, which featured a +34% increase (from €75 million to €101 million.) They were followed by Santa Margherita (+33%; the company also launched their own importing business.)

Among the other companies, there were formidable performances by Vivo Cantine (+25.4%,) Villa Sandi (+20.7%,) Lunelli (+13.4%,) Mionetto (+11.3%,) and Cantina di Soave (+10.3%.)

The Italian market’s stagnation (consumption has been dropping for years, even though the values are greater) has helped speed up the internationalization process: among the top 30 wine producers, 19 of them achieve more than 50% of their sales abroad. Botter leads the pack with 97% of their turnover, followed by Ruffino (93.5%,) Fratelli Martini (89.7%,) and Zonin (85.8%.) This is excellent news in light of Vinitaly’s upcoming 51st edition; the international wine show will be held in Verona from April 9th-12th.