Among the wine producing countries of Europe, Italy takes the second place after France. And it is not at all a bad second, as the figures of the average wine production of the vine‐growing countries of Europe and the Mediterranean Basin for the ten years prior to the outbreak of war, i.e., from 1929 to 1939, will clearly demonstrate. They were: France, 58,624,000 hecto‐litres; Italy, 39,189,000 hectolitres; Spain, 19,290,000 hectolitres; Algeria, 17,309,000 hectolitres ; Roumania 8,281,000 hectolitres; and Portugal, 7,289,000 hecto‐litres. The six countries then produce an average of roughly 150,000,000 hectolitres of wine annually, or approximately 80 per cent. of the total world production, which is in the neighbourhood of 187,000,000 hectolitres. Thus Italy's output stands for just over one‐quarter of the European production and one‐fifth of the world crop. From her grape harvest, Italy produces each year round about 6,000,000 hectolitres of wine of quality and 1,200,000 hectolitres of Vermouths, Marsala and other special wines. Then roughly half a million hectolitres are devoted to the making of vinegar and another 4,000,000 go to the production of second‐class alcohol. The remainder of the crop is converted into the ordinary wines which until recently were mainly consumed by the Army and the civil population. But while quantitatively Italy takes second place among the European wine producers, actually, from the point of view of the yield per square kilometre of vines planted, she ranks first. That will be obvious when it is pointed out that France obtains a crop of approximately 114 hectolitres for every square French mile or kilometre, while the Italian figure for the same area is 132 hectolitres. No other country equals this.
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