11 Dec 2008

Italy overtakes France as largest wine producer

9:08 pm on 11 December 2008

Italy has regained the title of the largest wine producer in the world, surpassing France for the first time in 10 years.

Experts say good weather meant a bumper harvest. But France saw a 5% fall in production, the BBC reports.

Nearly one in every five bottles of wine bought around the world now comes from Italy. In Europe, Italian wine accounts for one in three bottles sold.

The Coldiretti Farmers Group, which measures output, says estimates for 2008 show there has been an 8% increase on last year.

That is a total of 4.7 billion litres, compared with 4.4 billion litres for France.

It is the first time since 1998 that Italy has overtaken France to become the world's largest wine producer.