Wine constitutes the dominant Italian agricultural product with respect to both production quantity and economic value. Italy is the top wine producer worldwide in terms of volume and the second one below France in terms of national income. As the Italian agricultural production accounts for 85% of the national freshwater appropriation, the country’s agricultural sector strains freshwater resources, especially in the central and southern regions, which constitute important winemaking areas in terms of quantity and quality. To this end, we first perform a review of the existing research efforts on wine water footprint assessment to investigate the water dynamics of wine production in Italy compared to the rest of the world. The results indicate a prevalence of studies on the water footprint of Italian wine, emphasising the need for deeper research on the sector’s water efficiency. Then, we aim at exploring the major drivers, barriers, and good practises for systematic water stewardship in the Italian winemaking industry, considering the product and territorial characteristics. This research is anticipated to contribute towards providing insights for practitioners in the Italian wine sector to develop water-friendly corporate schemes for enhancing the added value of their products.
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