Wine consumption in Italy is at an all-time low

Wine consumption in Italy is at an all-time low

Wine consumption in Italy fell to a record low last year, but exports are at an all-time high, new figures show. 

Levels in the country last year dropped by 2% year-on-year in 2012, meaning wine consumption in the last decade has dived by 22%, farmer's group Coldiretti said on Saturday (6 April). The figures mark the lowest level since unification in the 19th Century. 

The Italian population consumed 22.6m hectolitres of wine last year, the figures revealed. This compares to 29m hectolitres drunk in the US in 2012, and 30.3m hectolitres in France.

An online survery, conducted by Coldiretti, found that 32% of Italy's population only drink wine on “special occasions”, while 18% have one or two glasses a week. And 6% of respondents said they never drink wine.

However, Italian wine exports hit a record EUR4.7bn (US$6.11bn) in 2012. Italy remains the world's largest exporter of wine, according to Coldiretti, with around one in five bottles produced sold abroad. Exports to Germany, which is the second largest market after the US, rose by 4% last year.

According to figures last month, however, European winemakers lost out in volume terms to US firms in 2012 through exports.