This decline is mainly attributable to the effects of climate change, with uncertain and often extreme weather conditions, including a significant increase in rainy days during the first eight months of last year.

The northern regions of Italy maintained the production levels of the previous year, while in the Centre, South and Islands there were declines of around 20% to 30%. The widespread fungal disease Peronospora, caused by frequent rains, has particularly affected the Central-Southern regions.

Despite the challenges, the first bunches harvested for sparkling wine production showed good levels of acidity and promising aromatic characteristics, potentially indicating good quality for this category of wines. However, the weather conditions during the harvest of the other varieties will determine the overall quality.

The decline in overall production could see France overtake Italy as the world's leading wine producer, although this will depend on weather conditions in the weeks ahead.

The president of Assoenologi, Riccardo Cotarella, underlined the challenges of the 2023 harvest, attributing them largely to climate change. He also highlighted the importance of the work of winemakers in mitigating the negative effects of the unstable climate.

The Extraordinary Commissioner of Ismea, Livio Proietti, noted that the contraction in production should not be a cause for concern due to the high wine stocks accumulated in previous years. However, he highlighted the need to focus on the quality and competitiveness of the sector.

The approach of the president of the Italian Wine Union, Lamberto Frescobaldi, is oriented towards a structural reform of the Italian wine sector, with the aim of improving the quality and image of Italian wines on international markets.

Overall, the 2023 harvest in Italy was influenced by climatic and phytosanitary challenges, but still offers good prospects in terms of wine quality, although the quantity decreased compared to the previous year. The wine industry is looking for innovative solutions to address climate change and improve the management of cultivations and production.