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Wine prices: new information and new protagonists

Wine prices: new information and new protagonists

The Italian economic crisis forces wine producers to export. Here are the average prices of our wines abroad compared to those of the cleverest of the all: the new Zealanders.

In Italy the main sales of wine come through department stores: 571 million litres old in 2011 and 62% of the habitual total acquisition. In the supermarkets business tied to 0,75 lt. bottles is the main business and it has increate by 4,5% compared to a contemporary contraction of bottle sizes which are more economic.
It seem that retail sales are moving in on wine stores while the decrease in amount spent on food by the consumer is beginning to have an effect also on cheaper wines.
The average price of wine in a carton is 1,14€. This is a small sum, practically like mineral water. Wine in a 0,75 lt. bottle increases to 4,28€ but we are still a long way of the amounts that make it remunerative to cultivate vineyards, which is where about ¼ of the price paid by the consumer goes.

Better to export, where however in studying the international scenario we can feel envy for the first of the class: the New Zealanders. Here are the top 5 wine exporting nations based on the average price per litre of bottled wine

New Zealand 6,86$

France 6,41$

Australia 4,26$

Italy 3,70$

Argentina, Chile and Spain follow with 2,44$

This great performance by the New Zealanders forces us to make some considerations. We must admit that they have had courage in having created from nothing a high profile wine region at extreme latitude, no other wine regions is so close to the pole. But what is most extraordinary is how the New Zealanders have transformed a taboo like the screw top into something positive and distinctive regarding their brand. Try and put a screw top on Brunello and see what a collapse in image and in sales there will be, but if you order a New Zealand white and the waiter uses a corkscrew you might think he’s got the wrong bottle. Economic, practical, and secure closure……. But only in New Zealand have they managed to impose it.

Their average price is higher on many markets regardless of the fact that they sell mainly whites that have generally lower production and sales costs than reds. French bottles are top of the list for average costs where their reds aged in barrel are appreciated most. Mostly in China, but also in the USA. Here we can see that the Pacific isles become once again the most expensive in Canada. Here even the distance in price between our wines and the French cousins’ diminishes. This is an important fact because in both markets Italy is the major importer of wine (in USA 2.556.530hl and 540.000 hl in Canada) but in the stars and stripes market the average price is roughly half that of French wines.


FRANCE 9 7,55 Canadian Dollar

USA 7,81

NEW ZEALAND 7,42 9,76

ITALY 5,31 6,37

GERMANY 5,31 5,59

SPAIN 5,22 6,13

SOUTH AFRICA 4,79 5,01

ARGENTINA 4,43 4,78

AUSTRALIA 3,74 6,62

Source “Corriere Vinicolo”


At the end of this consideration it’s worthwhile to make a comment: now that the Italian wine production is inferior to the total between national wine consumption and exportation, it’s a good idea to invest in increasing the commercial appreciation of our wines aboard. The OCM funds are useful for this but must be used in a more coordinated manner.

Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini