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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Tuesday, March 2 2010. 12:47

Riminifiera: Italian Taste at the Divine Lounge

Riminifiera is known for organizing a great food show for the last four decades and after adding fish and seafood, beverages, olive oil and frozen foods, it also added wines last year. The Divino Lounge has made considerable progress during the second year writes Subhash Arora who was at the Sapore- Italian Taste show that encompassed all these sectors.

Photo By:: Adil Arora

Rimini (pronounced Ree-mini) is a coastal town on the Adriatic, in the East of Italy- a medieval beach and port town of the region of Emilia-Romagna. It is perhaps the most favourite tourist beach city of Italy with Italian tourists almost outnumbered by foreigners during the peak summer season when Russian and German languages become as much a part of the lingua franca.

The beaches may not be as pristine as Goa but they can take a lot more touristic load with around a couple of thousand hotels and innumerable restaurants, bars and discos stretching over the coast over 20 kms and within the city. The restaurants-both fine dining and casual abound with entertainment for all ages, and the quality of food is consistently good as in most other Italian cities. No wonder Riminifiera felt the need for a food show 40 years ago when it started a food show with a special emphasis on the Horeca sector.

Over the years, it kept on getting bigger with the inclusion of fish and other seafood, beverages, frozen food and olive oil as well. Last year the organizing company added wine too, with a special pavilion created for Italian wine producers, naming it Divino Lounge.
‘We started with 6300 sq meters of space only. But we crossed 9500 sq meters this year, with a pavilion and a half space,’ Patrizia Cecchi, the Business manager informed delWine. Riminifiera which organised the just-concluded ‘Sapore’ (translated as Taste)  from 21-24 February at the exhibition grounds, considers it as one of the important shows they organise every year, contributing about 10% of the total revenues, according to Cecchi.

Photo By:: Adil Arora

Orietta Foschi and Patrizia Cecchi

Riminifiere is about as old and of the same size and diversified as Veronafiere which organises Vinitaly, the biggest wine show in Italy. So how does Sapore justify adding wine to their portfolio and how would they compete with the mega Show?

‘We have no competition with Vinitaly at all,’ says Orietta Foschi, the Project Manager for Sapore. ‘Vinitaly focuses on trade, whereas we concentrate on the Horeca sector. Many of our exhibitors also take part in Vinitaly as they have a different clientele there.’

She adds, ‘over the years we felt the need to add wine too as it is becoming more and more important not only for the Italian market but also for export. Many of our exhibitors have international expansion on their agenda. Around 20% of the visitors and buyers are already international, according to Foschi and more emphasis will be laid on them in the future editions, she adds.

There were several well known producers present as exhibitors including Cuzziol, Montresor, La Scolca, Duca di Salaputra and Saiagricola Group. Foschi informed delWine, ‘Ninety percent of the producers in the pavilion A-1 are our repeat exhibitors from last year. We plan to concentrate on wines even more and should have double the size of last year in 2011,’ she said.

Photo By:: Adil Arora

B2B Meeting at the Sapore

In order to give added value to their exhibitors, the organisers also facilitated B2B meetings over 4 days for the foreign buyers about 70 of whom came from over 20 countries, including India- thanks to the organizational efforts of the Indian Wine Academy one of whose activities is to take delegations of importers to the countries  interested in expors to India.

The organisers were quite happy with the quality of buyers. ‘We know things will move slowly, but we also realize we are in the right direction when getting perspective importers from India,’ said Foschi.

The Show was quite vibrant  with several attractions including a local Miss Young  Italy contest that attracted more attention than even the beer stands which seemed to be overflowing with happy beer ‘tasters’ in jovial mood. If the activity in the beer pavilion-which incidentally had several micro brewery equipment manufacturers, is an indication, beer is set to give a growing competition to wine in Italy as well.

There were 76,000 visitors to the show this year. Though there was a drop of 8% from last year, there was a growth in international buyers of 25% over last year. Rimini Fiera Chairman Lorenzo Cagnoni comments: ´We concentrated the utmost attention and greatest commitment to innovation on Sapore, in order for this period of general difficulty to be the opportunity for further boosting the authoritative nature of an event that is still overall the most important for food service and Horeca distribution. Our trade members were satisfied with a turnout of visitors that was increasingly qualified, professional and, above all, international.’

Sapore would be a useful show for Indians interested in Italian food and food-making machinery, olive oil, wine and beer including the equipment. However, to

Photo By::Adil Arora

internationalize the show, more efforts might be needed- including the translation services for various conferences and guided tastings. The organisers may also want to get more and better known wine professionals and producers from across Italy to address the audience at such tastings and seminars.

The Show was also a good indicator of the growing market for such events in this part of Italy. Said Patrizia, ‘Rimini used to be a hectic town in summer but quite sleepy in winter. Now the perception is changing with the addition of several conferences during the winter when the room rates are lower and the availability easier.’ If Cecchi is to be  believed, the new Pala di Congressi (Conference Center) to be ready in Spring, would be the biggest and most state-of-the art conference center in Italy, giving another reason to visit Rimini throughout the year.

Subhash Arora


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