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Logistics of the Italian Wine Industry
Sitting among the vineyards in Tuscany, it's hard to think of anything besides having a glass or two of the local varieties. Italy is famous for its wine, and for good reason. Much of the country has ideal climate and environmental conditions for growing wine grapes, allowing Italy to become the world's largest wine producing country. Italy is also the second-highest wine exporting country - behind France - meaning that most wine lovers across the globe have probably tasted a bottle of two.
Italians love their wine. In fact, Italy is the third-highest wine consuming country in the world. A survey in 2017 found that nearly 19% of the Italian population reported consuming wine daily. A wide range of wine varieties are produced and consumed in Italy, and they vary significantly between regions. While many regions of the country produce wine and wine grapes the three highest producing regions of the country are Puglia, Veneto, and Emilia Romagna.
In 2016 nearly 622000 hectares of Italy's countryside was cultivated for the grape harvest, resulting in about 5.09 billion liters of wine being produced that year. As it was in 2016, Prosecco is often the most produced variety of wine, with over 300 million liters produced in that year. The most popular wine grape varietal grown in Italy is the Trebbiano Toscano, which is used in nearly a third of all white wines in Italy. Trebbiano grapes can also be used in the production of balsamic vinegar.
The harvesting of wine grapes is generally done on site where the wine will be produced. Once the wine is produced from the grapes, it often must be stored to age. While not all wine ages for the same amount of time, most wine is aged for a least a little while after production. Once the wine is properly aged, the wine will be bottled and transported to its points of sale. Sometimes this transportation will involve international shipping by sea or air or regional shipping via trucks or rail. Regardless of how the wine is transported, it's important that proper temperature and product integrity is maintained to ensure a quality product is delivered.
In 2015 the sales of all Italian wine was valued at 2.3 billion euros. Italian wine is incredibly popular among wine lovers in all corners of the globe. After tasting a few varieties myself, it's easy to see why Italian wine is so beloved.