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Delhi Wine Club
Curtain Raiser on Vinitaly-Global Platform for Wine Business

Posted: Tuesday, 02 April 2013 11:14

Curtain Raiser on Vinitaly-Global Platform for Wine Business

April 02: The 47th edition of Vinitaly is ready to welcome over 140,000 global visitors and 4200 exhibitors from 20 countries on April 7-10 with never-before attractions including the inauguration of the digital initiative VinitalyWineClub and an increased foreign presence with the first ever visit of a high-powered State delegation from China, writes Subhash Arora who will be participating again at the Show this year

The world's oldest wine exhibition which was founded in 1967 will open with a grand tasting on April 6 by OperaWine. Titled as "Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers" it will be held at Palazzo della Gran Guardia, in Piazza Bra. Vinitaly will close with a walk-around tasting of wines that won  Grand Gold Medal and Gold Medal awards at the International Wine Competition held last November; the ‘Concorso’ used to be held a week before Vinitaly but due to practical reasons is now held in November every year.

Incoming B2B and China

Buyers from 60 countries worldwide, from the ASEAN region (Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong), China, Japan, North America, Russia and Australia, as well as Latin America, the Middle East and Africa have been invited on a selected basis to encourage direct buying through B2B meetings.

China is being wooed single-mindedly with a delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and online trading giants invited for the first time. With the spread of IT and local social media, retail wine sales are increasingly repidly through online commerce sites.“We estimate that about 190 million Chinese buyers are active on the web and constantly growing," says Ettore Riello, President of Veronafiere. He shows his apprehension that despite the increasing number of wine drinkers in China moving away from French wines the share of Italian wine is at a steady 5%. It is not a coincidence that Vinitaly International, looking specifically after the highest growth markets of the USA and Russia also includes China now.

“The show is an extraordinary opportunity for contacts for a sector that in the first 11 months of last year posted exports of 21.4 million hectolitres, a dcrease of 9% by volume but an increase of 7% in value amounting to 4.7 billion Euros,"adds Rielo.

Large Attendance

What Vinitaly is doing to be the "umbrella Brand", the international hub for wine promotion and trade, has been explained by CEO & Director General, Giovanni Mantovani. "More than 35% of visitors at Vinitaly every year come from overseas," he says. Last year, there were over 48,000 foreign visitors from 116 countries out of a total attendance of over 140,000 people, including around 2,500 accredited journalists from 45 countries.

Vinitaly has changed its schedule format to Sunday-Wednesday. This has also ensured a significant increase in attendance and longer stay in the international as well as Italian HORECA segment. “We expect to have more than 4,200 exhibitors from over 20 countries in a net exhibition area, thanks to the expansion of Hall 11, in excess of 95,000 sq. Mts. and even larger than in 2012,"  says Mantovani.

To improve the international relationships further, VinitalyWineClub, an innovative online promotion and sales platform is being inaugurated at this Show on 7th April. It seeks to offer producers the opportunity to reach new consumers who will have the possibility to discover new wines from every corner of Italy. A preview of the complete project will be presented on April 6 through one of the partners, OperaWine. VinitalyWineClub is the digital and synergic extension of the promotion and development pursued by physical exhibition.

Interesting Tastings

There are several other interesting tastings during the Show. For instance, on April 10, ten great Italian wine producers will tell selected professionals and wine lovers their passionate stories made of environmental, cultural and social commitment. For the first time the tasting titled ‘Wine is More-Message in the Bottle’ will be paired with their travel stories, pictures and videos. A multimedia and emotional tasting will be presented by the family-owned wineries Allegrini, Antinori, Argiolas, Michele Chiarlo, Lungarotti, Masi, San Patrignano, Tasca d’Almerita, Villa Russiz and Zonin. Interestingly, most of the wineries have Indian presence or some connection.

Le Donne del Vino is an association whose members are women who are in the wine business and has chapters in every wine producing region in Italy. To celebrate the 25th Anniversary this year, the Association has organised a tasting with ten renowned Donne del Vino on April 7 at 3 pm.

Each wine region conducts its own conferences and seminars. For instance, Sicily, which organised Masterclass events in India in 2012 and 2013 with the Indian Wine Academy, has a calendar full of educational programmes during the Show. Starting with a Conference to be attended by Dario Cartabellotta, State Minister of Agriculture who headed the delegation to India last year, there will be films, lectures (including one by the famous viticulturist professor Attilio Scienza from Milan) and tastings.

An interesting presentation would be the performance by the wineries from the land previously owned by the Mafia and confiscated by the government and leased out to wine producers. At a book launch on the ‘World of Sicilian Wines’, Subhash Arora will be a panelist sharing the promotion and impact of the two events conducted Pan-India by the Consortium. He will share the platform with the authors and Diego Planeta, Wine Brand Ambassador whose first assignment was to visit India with the Sicilian delegation.  

One More Time

I have always recommended that every wine lover owes it to himself to visit Vinitaly at least once in his lifetime. Looking at the size of the show and the ever-increasing excitement, I need to change that advisory to at least two such visits in a lifetime. Of course for the Italian wine importers and the hospitality industry with a focus on Italian gastronomy it is almost mandatory - but you need to plan well in advance.

Subhash Arora

Tags: VinitalyWineClub, OperaWine, Antinori, Tasca d’Almerita, Zonin, Sicily, Dario Cartabellotta, World of Sicilian Wines, Diego Planeta



Michele Shah Says:

Dear Subhash, An interesting preview of Vinitaly. Yes, Sicilians are being very active during this edition. You may not be aware that Decanter has organised a very interesting tasting on 9th April at 11 am at Sala Iris where I will be conducting a comparative tasting of Nerello Mascalese, the principal grapes of the red blend of the volcanic Etna with the Pinot Noir from New Zealand. There will be 12 wines to be tasted. Though we won’t be comparing the two varietals strictly, my inspiration for the selection is from Jancis Robinson MW who once described Etna Rosso, as the ‘Burgundy of Etna’. This tasting focuses on ‘old world structure and elegance- meets new world power and intensity’. I will also have on the panel 3 producers from Etna and NZ. The tickets are €20 each but I invite you to join us as a guest-this is one of the several interesting events happening in Vinitaly, besides the ones you have mentioned in your article. Michele Shah

Posted @ April 03, 2013 10:56


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