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(AGI) Rome, April 17 - Italy produced 44.7 million hectolitresof wine last year, reported the ministry of AgriculturalPolicies. It was less than the 50 million hectolitres in 2013,but in line with estimates. The DOP wines [those with ProtectedDesignation of Origin] form 35 percent of national production,wines without a geographical denomination made up 34 percentand PGI [Protected Geographic Indicator] wines 29 percent.Italy was second among the major wine producing countries inEurope. France was first (46.5 million hectolitres) and Spainthird after a boom in 2013, with 43.4 million hectolitres.Giorgio Mercuri, president of the Alliance of AgrifoodCooperatives, said: "In the next few years we should continueto keep an eye on our French cousins. We should keep the Frenchat bay because of their efficiency in exploiting their productsand territory, but Spain too, which is making significantinvestments in vineyards and wine production." (AGI).