Italian wine imports rising

February 24, 2012
Napa Valley Register
The Italian Trade Commission-New York's analysis of data published by the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that Italy remains the top exporter of wine to the U.S., with a 31 percent, $1.5 billion share, of the U.S. market in 2011, a 15 percent increase over 2010.

In the table wine category, which excludes sparkling wines, Italy had a 34 percent of the market ($1.3 billion), a 16 percent increase, while France had 19 percent and Australian 13 percent.

France, however, led the sparkling wine category with, exporting about $516 million in wine to the U.S. The Italian sparkling wine exports, however, continued to increase, rising 36 percent in 201.

Figures reported by Impact's Data Bank note that Americans "are drinking more and more sparkling wines." In 2011, sparkling wine consumption in the U.S. totaled 15 million cases. Procecco achieved the most growth with imports doubling between 2007 and 2010. Sales estimates indicate that more than a million cases of prosecco were sold in the U.S.

The report quoted Adam Strum, founder and publisher of Wine Enthusiast, as saying, "The wonderful thing about wine and what makes it so unique is that it is an affordable luxury. There are few things in life that a consumer can purchase like a delicious bottle of prosecco for under $20 . When you see explosions in products like moscato and prosecco, you remember that Americans were 'raised on Coca Cola' and they tend to speak dry but taste sweet."