Italy’s bubbly producers ended the year on a sparkling note as a record number of people opted for prosecco to toast the New Year.
National farmers’ body Coldiretti said Thursday it estimated that a total of 220 million bottles of Italian fizz will have been popped around the world by the end of the year-end holiday period.
Booming exports are more than compensating for stagnating domestic demand, Coldiretti said.
Definitive figures for the first nine months of 2014 revealed a 24 percent rise in sales of all forms of Italian sparkling wine.
They range from the grapey, low-alcohol Moscato d’Asti to top proseccos from Valdobbiadene, which are increasingly seen as a credible rival to champagne and the top ‘methode champenoise’ sparklers from Australia, New Zealand and California.
The growth has been achieved despite the impact of the country’s recession on the domestic market, which remained flat compared to 2013 and well below its peak levels of several years ago.