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TUSCAN WINE PREVIEWS

Chianti Classico is soaring on the markets and has launched two tools to discover the territory

“Chianti Classico Connection” revealed the numbers for 2021 (+31% in the first four months) and online accessibility of panoramas and geological maps

The first four months of 2021 closed on a clearly positive sign for Chianti Classico, registering + 31% in bottles sold (11 million) compared to the same period of the previous year, and also compared to 2019. In 2020, consumption of Gallo Nero wines registered a limited loss (-8%), taking into consideration the evident difficulties on the HORECA channel. The response of consumers, instead, soared on International markets as well, where the new vintages, Chianti Classico 2019, Chianti Classico Riserva and Gran Selezione 2018, the stars of the in person event, “Chianti Classico Connection 2021” (that WineNews had already reviewed in its monograph, “I Quaderni di WineNews”, in March, dedicated to Chianti Classico). It is being held in the Great Cloister in the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, one of the Churches in the heart of Renaissance Florence, and simultaneously in London, Chicago and New York. That is to say, on the markets UK - and -US where close to 1 bottle out of two is sent.
People the world over love the wine, the denomination and the land that lies between Siena, the Medieval city par excellence, and Florence, the cradle of the Italian Renaissance, and that Alessandro Masnaghetti, a wine journalist and cartographer, wanted to make completely accessible from anywhere, utilizing two tools. One tool comprises 37 panoramas, revealing the particularities of each valley, of each hill or of an entire municipality from above, accessible on the Chianti Classico Consortium site, in which you can immerse yourself interactively in the territory. And then, talking about geology, the geo viticulture map of the denomination, divided into 11 cartographic units
that have been identified having in mind, first of all, the grape vine and its relationship to soils and the geology of the areas and which was the result of the collaboration with Prof. Simone Priori, University of Tuscia,
Meanwhile, returning to the markets, today Chianti Classico - 800 million euros in turnover, production value over 500 million euros and organic growth of 50% in the 2020 harvest - is present in over 150 countries, which on average absorb 80% of the annual production. Even through the enforced interruption of in person promotional activities, consumers on historical markets such as North America, Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as the Asian markets, have continued to choose Chianti Classico. The E-commerce sector has contributed to this, too, and has significantly increased the volume of sales globally, especially among Millennials that have very good financial resources. The fame and importance, for volumes sold and value generated, of the “premium2 types of Chianti Classico, Riserva and Gran Selezione has been confirmed, which in 2020 represented, jointly, 44% of production and 55% of turnover, (source: Maxidata).
Looking at the Chianti Classico markets in more detail, the United States have once again confirmed its first place, a position they have held for more than 15 years. One in three bottles of Chianti Classico is sold in this Country (33% of total sales). The domestic market is stable in second place, and it is where today 20% of the total Gallo Nero wines are sold. Canada and the United Kingdom follow and are tied, in third place (10% each). This position is a reconfirmation for Canada, while the shares of Chianti Classico sold in the United Kingdom are growing significantly (+ 3% compared to 2019), which is a sign of the market’s dynamism and only partially is it a secondary effect of the fear of possible post-Brexit duties. The duties fear was averted at the end of 2020, thanks to the agreement on Great Britain exiting the European Union, which after nearly four years of negotiations, seems to have shielded Italian wine from unpleasant surprises. Next follows, Chianti Classico’s historical market, neighboring Germany at 6%, then the Scandinavian countries and Benelux (4% each). Asian countries (Japan, South Korea, China) have also maintained their positions, and in the last few months, Chianti Classico producers report a growing and renewed interest on these markets, which indicates perhaps an expansion of sales in the near future.
“This result demonstrates the strength of Chianti Classico’s commercial structure, since it is distributed in so many Countries around the world, through multiple channels”, explained Giovanni Manetti, president of the Chianti Classico Consortium, at the “Chianti Classico Connection” 2021 presentation conference. “We have encountered many challenges on the domestic market, due to restaurants being closed for months. The consumer of Chianti Classico, however, has proved faithful to the product and has continued to purchase it for consumption at home. The value and renown of the appellation are continuing to grow, and the merit is due to the quality of the wines that both critics and the market acknowledge”.
Regarding differentiation of sales channels, Chianti Classico companies continued to work in the mass retail sector, which was the only one that stayed open and operative during the months of the Pandemic. However, they also invested in new sales methods, accelerating especially E-commerce, corporate online sales and delivery. The purchasing channels have partially changed, and promotion methods have also been reshaped, using the new communication tools, especially for foreign Countries. The primarily online activities that the Chianti Classico Consortium has organized in the last year have been carried out in the form of webinars, seminars and Master classes, on several of the appellation’s main markets, starting with the United States and Canada, and ending with the Asian markets, where, in a few cases it was also possible to organize live events (Chianti Classico tastings with sommeliers). On the whole, to date, more than 1.800 experts in the sector and representatives of the International press have participated in the events.

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