Allegrini 2018

Direct distribution and import: more and more Italian wine companies are investing in it

Feudi di San Gregorio makes its debut in Germany. And joins experiences such as those of Giv, Santa Margherita, Zonin, Mezzacorona, Iwb, Banfi
Antonio Capaldo, at the helm of Feudi di San Gregorio

Directly managing the import and distribution of one’s own products and wines in an increasingly global, vast, complex and fragmented market is anything but simple, but absolutely useful. From an economic point of view, with more value remaining within the company system, but not only. Because having direct control means, in principle, being able to work freely on the positioning of the various brands, and also being able to respond more quickly, without or with fewer intermediaries, to changes in the scenario and consumer trends that are increasingly sudden and sharp, often on the world’s markets. And while this is clearly a difficult path, requiring significant resources and a considerable organizational structure, it is one that is increasingly being taken by important and diverse groups in the Italian wine industry. With investments that are now well established, and others that are more recent. Gruppo Italiano Vini - GIV, for example, one of the largest Italian wine companies, has its own commercial branches in Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Japan and the Czech Republic, for example, as does Zonin1821, with its Zonin Uk, Zonin USA, and direct distribution offices in China and Sweden, for example, among the more “historical” experiences, that of the Trentino cooperative Mezzacorona, which through its subsidiary Nosio, for example, owns Prestige Wine Imports Corp, in the USA, and Bavaria Wein Import Gmbh, in Germany, which manage the marketing and promotion of the products and brands of the Mezzacorona Group in their respective markets.
In this context, it is also worth mentioning the experience of Santa Margherita, which, with Santa Margherita USA, imports the wines of the group owned by the Marzotto family and led by CEO Beniamino Garofalo (with whom another big name in Italian wine, such as Masi, also has a partnership for imports), and which, recently, thanks to the acquisition of the Roco Winery in Oregon, has opened up to the direct-to-consumer channel in the States, which is increasingly important. Another recent investment worth mentioning is the one that has seen, at the end of 2021, the Italian Wine Brands group, with a turnover of 400 million euros, acquire Enovation Brands, a historic company that imports Italian wines into North America.
Not forgetting, of course, perhaps the longest-lasting experience of all, that of Banfi Wines, founded in 1919 by the American Mariani family, which then in the 1970s founded Castello Banfi, in Montalcino, a leading company in the Brunello area, and which, naturally, imports into the USA all the wines of the group, now led by Cristina Mariani May.
Today, this “parterre de roi”, of which we have cited only a few examples, is reinforced by Feudi di San Gregorio, the Irpinian brand led by Antonio Capaldo, with companies in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Sirch), Bolgheri (Campo alle Comete), on Mount Etna (Federico Graziani), in Basilicata (Basilisco), in Puglia (Ognissole) and in Cilento (Tempa di Zoè), which is taking its first step in this sense, starting from a strategic market for the company and for Italian wine, such as Germany. “The new company will enable us to get to know our customers better, offer them a direct line to the winery, strengthen our brand and better serve the market with a dedicated office. The direct presence is not only a commercial advantage but also allows us to directly manage the story and promotion of the brand, without entrusting it to intermediaries”, comments Antonio Capaldo, president of Feudi di San Gregorio, which, on January 12, according to a note, “set up a commercial company in Germany in order to promote the products of the Group’s wineries”. “Germany”, Feudi continues, “is historically one of the most important markets for the company, which aims to double its turnover over the next two years by serving 1,000 customers directly. This step is part of a broader path of export growth: with over 6 wine brands, the group will invest in direct distribution on the main international markets over the next few years. Germany is the first step towards building a model that can be replicated in other areas of the world with interesting potential”.

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