With its 6 billion bottles a year, Italy is the largest producer in the world (2nd state in terms of turnover behind France) and wine is a cultural phenomenon too, besides being an economic ele-ment of absolute importance. Suffice it to say that in Italy there are 310.000 winegrowers, 45.000 bottling companies and around 340.000 bottles are consumed per hour.
The Italian market, therefore, is an extremely competitive market, in which domestic production plays a dominant role on medium and low-end products, having a quality-price ratio that is diffi-cult to match by any imported products.
Instead, there are three factors that – if fully exploited – can play in favour of foreign producers of medium-high-end wines: first (i) the average consumption of wine per capita is among the high-est in the world (about 35 lt each), and this leads the consumer, on average very aware, to vary his/her choices a lot. This has led (ii) to the opening of several specialized shops (both online and offline), often selling also quality foreign wines, for which the consumer is willing to spend rather high figures. Finally (iii), in Italy there are many trade fairs and events (from Vinitaly to small lo-cal expositions) in which producers can introduce their wine to sector operators and distributors already structured on the market.
In short: not an easy market, but a market offering different chances for producers having a clear distribution strategy and a quality wine to sell.