Italian wine production is forecast to fall this year, according to recent estimates. The country's winemakers' association, Assoenologi, said yesterday (18 October) that output for 2005 will drop by around 11% year-on-year to 47.5m hectolitres.

Average wine production per year over the last 15 years has been 49.7m hectolitres.

In the first half of 2005, wine exports leapt on the corresponding period last year by 8.3% in volume and 1.4% in value, while the average wholesale price of wine dipped by 7%.

Per capita wine consumption in Italy presently stands at 48 litres, compared to around 100 litres in the 1960s.