Over the last few years, the Italian wine industry had undergone pretty massive growth. In fact, it’s overtaken France as the largest wine industry that the world has to offer.
All sorts of factors have gone into achieving that. Expansion into the Asian markets of China and India have played a role, as has the explosion in popularity of great Italian wines, such as Prosecco.
Greater access to information has also played a part. Today, it’s easy for people to check the details about a bottle of wine and its producer on their phones. That’s a great thing for Italian wine because so many of our producers have rich stories to tell.
But there’s one more thing that’s played a big part in the success of the industry.
By and large, the Italian wine industry has been able to predict, and even influence, some of the trends that affect the industry as a whole.
That got us to thinking.
2018 is already drawing to a close. It feels like only yesterday that we were talking about Christmas and it’s October again already.
2019 will soon be upon us and we want to know what trends are going to affect the Italian wine industry next year.
After a little bit of research, we’ve come up with a few things for you to keep an eye out for.
Trend #1 – Biodynamic Wines Will Come Good
With climate change being such a hot button issue, as well as the industry at large gaining a greater understanding of the impact that producing wine has on the planet, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that biodynamic wines are going to gain popularity.
In fact, they already are. A quick browse of the Xtrawine website will reveal all sorts of great biodynamic and organic options.
These types of wine fall under the “natural” category and you can bet that a lot of people, particularly the younger generation, are going to prefer them.
But going biodynamic will also have massive benefits for producers. For one, they’ll be able to maintain the health of the land that they rely on for their products. Biodynamic wines use no unnatural chemicals, which means stronger land and healthier grapes.
Many also argue that biodynamic wines are more reflective of the land due to the lack of chemical interference.
Above all else, this trend supports sustainability for both the natural ecosystem and our environment.
Those are issues that consumers have become increasingly aware about. And they’re issues that we think a lot of winemakers will adapt to in 2019 and beyond.
Trend #2 – The Wine Slushie
Now for something on the more fun side of the wine spectrum.
Over the years, we’ve seen Italian wine co-opted for all sorts of different drinks. Just step into the average cocktail bar and you’ll probably spot at least one cocktail that uses a wine as its base ingredient.
We’ve even seen sillier ideas, such as wine for cats and wine ice cream starting to emerge. Unlike cocktails, we don’t see those particular trends carrying on into 2019.
However, there is one idea that 2018 brought us that we do see making an impact in 2019 – the wine slushie.
And again, it all comes down to millennials and younger consumers. The wine slushie is a novelty that we’re seeing an increasing number of restaurants stock. Plus, it has some merits of its own. After all, can you imagine how refreshing a Prosecco slushie must taste?
The idea may be an affront to traditionalists. However, we think the wine slushie is here to stay and that it’s going to have a breakthrough year in 2019.
Trend #3 – Nights In Instead of Nights Out
This is another trend that’s already started in 2018 that we see continuing throughout 2019 and beyond.
In a world where younger people have more concern for their personal finances than ever before, we’re likely to see more people choosing a night in than a night out.
This could affect the Italian wine industry in a variety of ways.
For one, we may find that restaurants and bars cut back on their orders. After all, if nobody’s coming out to buy drinks, then there’s no point stocking them. The stats bear this out too, as both wine and beer sales in pubs and bars have fallen.
But don’t panic just yet. Just because people aren’t going out as much, doesn’t mean that they aren’t buying wine.
Instead of going out and spending a ton of money on a single glass, we’re going to find that more people buy entire bottles to consume at home.
Trend #4 – Growth By Generation
As of 2019, everybody who’s considered a millennial will have come of age and will be able to drink. Or at least, almost everybody.
Still, what this means is that there are more millennial drinkers than ever before. And the trends we’ve seen suggest that millennials tend to prefer alcohols that have a little care put into them.
We can see that with the rise of the craft beer. But recent statistics have also shown that 28% of millennials drink wine on a daily basis.
Compare those figures to even a decade or so ago and you can see a huge difference.
With more millennials coming of age, we’re expecting to see even more younger people drinking wine.
The Final Word
That covers it for a few of the trends that we think may play a part in shaping the Italian wine industry next year.
Of course, we can’t say for certain that these trends will actually be the major ones. We don’t have a crystal ball, after all.
But we do think that each will play its part in its own way. With a little luck, these trends will contribute to another great year for the industry and we’ll continue to see the Italian industry go from strength to strength.
For now, we encourage you to explore Xtrawine a little more to find some great wines.