FRANCE RECLAIMS ITS CROWN
France has had little to cheer about during the last few years. But now there’s something to make winemakers smile: the country has regained its status as the world’s biggest wine producer, after having been overtaken by Italy last year, Italy’s largest farmers’ association Coldiretti recently reported. France, with its expected 4.8 billion liter wine output in 2OO9, is set to surpass Italy, which is forecast to make 4.7 billion liters this year, the association said, citing the French agency FranceAgriMer and Italian research published in July. Italian wine output slowed this year after farmers dug up vines, wooed by incentives under the European Union wine sector reform. According to various winemakers, Italy’s harvest is set to be of a very high quality with a high sugar content.