Italian wine exports hit new record

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MILAN (AP) -- Italian wine exports reached a record €4.4 billion ($5.75 billion) last year, with the biggest markets in the United States, Germany and Britain.

The national statistics agency ISTAT on Wednesday said exports by value grew 12 percent last year compared with 2010, while exports by volume grew by 9 percent to 24 million hectoliters (634 million gallons).

Italy's share of the global wine market was 22 percent.

Giovanni Mantovani, general director of the annual Italian wine exposition Vinitaly, said that increasingly smaller producers are finding an export market alongside bigger winemakers. More than 4,200 winemarkers will display their wares during Vinitaly from March 25-28 in Verona.