BI reports big gains for Italian labels

UK fine wine merchant BI Wine & Spirits has reported a 30% increase in turnover on Italian wines over the course of 2019.

Italian wines, especially those from Tuscany and Piedmont, are increasingly becoming ‘must haves’ for fine wine collectors and demand is getting stronger and with it an improved secondary market performance.

BI reported that the value of 10 leading Italian wines increased by an average of 12.5% in 2019 – helped along by the Trump administration’s imposition of 25% tariffs on many EU wines – but not Italian ones.

After the tariff was put in place last October demand for Italian wines pushed prices up a further 5%.

Sassicaia, Ornellaia and Tignanello have been the best performers on BI’s LiveTrade platform, boosting turnover for Italian wines by 30% last year.

The strong tariffs and highly praised 2016 vintage have all created demand for older vintages as well.

Sassicaia’s 2014 vintage – one of the more ‘accessibly’ priced recent vintages – was the best performer last year on the BI platform, seeing its price increase 21%, while the 2015 and 2012 vintages rose 20% and 15% respectively.

The 2011 and 2016 vintages also did well, alongside Solaia 2012 and 2011 and 2009, 2012 and 2015 Tignanello.

Gary Boom, managing director of BI, said: “Over the past two years we have seen an increased focus on purchasing Italian wine for investment. Whilst Tuscan wines are not particularly limited in production, they are surprisingly difficult to source in volume on the secondary market, which helps to support price appreciation. The imposed US tariff on French wines has only added to this price support.

“While Italian wines should continue to see positive trading patterns, with the potential for an additional boost if US tariffs remain in place and exclude Italian wines, the sector certainly doesn’t want to see an escalation with greater tariffs imposed, which would be detrimental to the wine trade globally.”

For more on Italian fine wine see the February issue of the drinks business.

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