The first half of 2021 brought back confidence among wine producers. The wine market in Italy closed the 2020 accounts with a loss in revenues of 3 billion euros, equal to a -24% decrease in turnover.
Exports declined too. After years of uninterrupted growth, exports reversed course with sales of 6.3 billion, -2.4% less than in 2019. Small and medium-sized wineries linked mainly to the Horeca channel suffered the most due to repeated shutdowns. On the other hand larger companies, and particularly those with a multi-channel distribution strategy, were able to contain their losses and even post excellent results. This is the case of many companies that make up the exclusive ranking of the 106 largest Italian wine companies (drawn up by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera). It is a significant sample of the national wine industry which accounts for 61.8% of the total turnover of the sector, 62.2% of exports, and 61.3% of domestic turnover.
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A TURNOVER OF 6.7 BILLION EUROS
The 106 Italian largest wine producers recorded a total turnover of 6.7 billion, 3.9 billion of which coming from exports. The protagonists of this special ranking are 65 private companies and 41 cooperatives. Many brands, especially at the top of the list, have an industrial slant that excludes wine-producing properties. And it is precisely this type of company that is now moving decisively to increase its size. This is the case of Italian Wine Brands (Iwb), listed on Aim, which has recently concluded the purchase of Enoitalia.
COMPANIES OF ANCIENT TRADITION
Family owned wine producers, have been making wine for generations, offer a different business model. This is one of the distinctive characteristics of the Italian wine market, to which many brands give life to: Marchesi Antinori, Marchesi Frescobaldi, Marchesi Mazzei, Barone Ricasoli, Tenuta San Guido, Planeta, Donnafugata, Umani Ronchi, Tommasi, Bortolomiol, Argiolas, Montelvini, Mastroberardino, Folonari, and Argiolas just to mention some of them.
Co-operatives account for 44.5% of the total turnover of this sample, 35.9% of exports, and 57% of domestic turnover, still leading the list with Cantine Riunite and Caviro. The podium is completed by the Trentino-based consortium Cavit, which has changed size after the purchase of the subsidiaries of the former La Vis group. Five private companies (one more than in 2019) can boast a turnover of more than 200 million. They are Botter (the largest private company on the market), Marchesi Antinori, Fratelli Martini, Iwb, and Enoitalia.
The ten major exporters of Italian wine
|PRODUCER||TURNOVER ACHIEVED ABROAD|
|Cantine Sgarzi Luigi||99%|
|Casa Vinicola Botter Carlo & C.||93.48%|
|Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine||90.40%|
|Tommasi Family Estates||89%|
|La Marca Vini e Spumanti||86.82%|
FAR AWAY MARKETS
As for exports, the top ten is led by Cantine Sgarzi from Emilia, owned by the Sgarzi family which deals with bottling and marketing of bulk and packaged wine. Headed by Stefano Sgarzi, it operates in the sector of large-scale retail trade both in European and non-European markets, where it achieves 99% of its turnover. It is followed by Farnese Group, based in Abruzzo, (97.6% of total turnover achieved abroad), and Ruffino Group (95.24%). At the foot of the podium we can find other important players including Pasqua vigneti and Cantine di Verona. The latter boasts subsidiaries in the United States as well as in the increasingly promising Asian markets.