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Italy becomes ‘dominant force’ on fine wine market

Italy has become a ‘dominant force’ on the fine wine market, with the country’s previously under-represented regions rising in importance on the secondary market, according to global fine wine marketplace Liv-ex. 

Scenic Tuscany landscape with rolling hills and valleys in golden morning light, Val d’Orcia, Italy.

Last year saw Italy’s sub-index rise by 12.2%, and the increased trading of Italian wine on the secondary market trade has seen Italy become the third most traded category, a recent report from Liv-ex shows. The country enjoying a record high market share at 16% in the year-to-date, behind only Bordeaux (40.5%) and Burgundy (20.4%).

In recent years, there has been a significant expansion in the market of Italian fine wine, with the number of wines with a vintage on the secondary market having grown a whopping 2,566% between 2010 and 2021. There is no sign of this slowing either, as this year has already seen it surpass the levels achieved for the whole of 2020, by 5.3%.


The report shows that demand for the critically acclaimed Super Tuscans has generated the majority of trade, offering steady returns and low volatility. However, as this demand has grown, more Italian brands have entered the secondary market, and there has been greater exposure of some of these ‘lesser’ known regions, such as Veneto, Abruzzo, Umbria, and others which have entered the market in the last two year.

“The increased diversity of Italian wines trading on the secondary market would not have been possible without Italy’s strengthened image as a competitive fine wine force on the international stage,” Liv-ex said.

Thus the wines of Tuscany and Piedmont have “lured buyers in” while rare wines made from Nebbiolo in the north have contributed to the country’s impressive price performance and sparked investment interest.

The quality and value offered by Italian wines also seems to be attracting more active players globally, notably from the US, the UK, Asia, and Europe.

Wines from Barbaresco featured among the most active wines traded by volume in Asia in 2021, proving Italy’s attraction to buyers from Asia, while Italy’s exemption from the US ‘Trump’ tariffs on European wine (which lasted between October 2019 and March 2021) pushed up demand from American buyers.  For example, US merchants focused mostly on Italian wines took up 27.4% of total trade in 2020, compared to 26.5% from Bordeaux and 11% from Burgundy.

“This sustained increase points to a significant market expansion and heightened demand for Italian fine wine,” the report said. “As for the future, the quality and value offered by Italian wines seems to be attracting more active players globally and Italy’s full potential is yet to be truly unveiled.

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