A joint survey by ISMEA (the Italian market research and information institute) and Unione Italiana Vini (the Italian wine association) has concluded that Italy's 2008 grape harvest is likely to be 10% higher in volume than last year's.

Italy's wine drinkers are extremely faithful to domestically produced wine: the recent 2007 Italy report from IWSR shows that, of the 299m 9-litre cases of still light wine consumed in 2007, under 0.5% was imported.

The increase comes despite some heavy rains in central and northern regions in spring which led to an increase in certain pathogenic elements, which in turn means that, according to the survey, it is too early to guess at the quality of this year's harvest. Naturally, weather conditions in coming weeks will also play an important role in determining quality.

In terms of regions, the survey found that Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta, Lombardy and Liguria are likely to have lower harvests than 2007 due to the poor weather. Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto are likely to see volumes match last year, as are Umbria and Sardinia; Emilia Romagna and Tuscany are likely to see a slight increase. Growth is also expected in Lazio, Abruzzo, Puglia, Campania, Calabria, Molise and Basilicata and the strongest growth is likely to be in Marche and especially Sicily, which suffered most from drought in 2007.