Consorzio Collio 2024 (175x100)

Franciacorta bets on the U.S.: exclusive partnership with Michelin Guide for the next 3 years

Made-in-Italy bubbles will be “Sparkling Wine Partner” in the ceremonies of the Guide overseas. Catering increasingly central

A union in the sign of bien vivre, between labels of excellence and starred restaurants, but also of a strategic vision that points decisively overseas: the Franciacorta Consortium signs an exclusive partnership with the Michelin Guide, becoming “Sparkling Wine Partner”, for the next three years, in the ceremonies of the “Red” in the United States, as well as sponsor of the “Sommelier of the Year Awards”. The agreement confirms the willingness of the territory, among the made-in-Italy wine excellences, not only to strengthen its position in a market that remains in first place, in terms of consumption and exports, for Italian wine, but also to focus on targeted events aimed at the final consumer, rather than at the trade and the press: such as “Franciacorta Restaurant Weeks”, from June 5 to 15, a series of tastings and pairings that will see the prestigious made-in-Italy bubbles as protagonists in the top venues of New York, Miami and Chicago. A strategic vision that is indispensable in an international framework of political and economic uncertainty, which inevitably affects exports: in the first four months of 2024, volume sales, according to Consortium data, slowed slightly compared to the same period in 2023 (4.3 million bottles; -5.9%); however, the trend in sales remains positive, recording an increase in average prices of 1.4% compared to the same period in 2023.
In Italy, Franciacorta has been Michelin’s “Destination Partner” since 2021: by landing in such an important market as the United States, where the gastronomic scene is growing significantly in terms of quality and consumer appreciation, it significantly consolidates its relationship with the world’s most important guide. The collaboration will see the light of day at a ceremony to be held in California, when the new stars will be revealed. During the event, guests will have the opportunity to taste and discover different types of Franciacorta, while newly awarded chefs will toast on stage. Michelin will also present an annual award, sponsored just by Franciacorta, to be given to the best sommelier in California. The collaboration will continue throughout 2024 in Guide ceremonies that will touch on various destinations in the United States. “This partnership between Franciacorta and Michelin is based on a shared interest in wine and food, as well as a sustainable approach to the environment”, explains Silvano Brescianini, president of the Franciacorta Consortium. “We are proud and excited about the idea of ferrying our collaboration with the U.S. Michelin Guide overseas, as we believe that Franciacorta still has a lot to express and communicate on this market, especially in the area of high quality gastronomy. We are convinced that chefs and sommeliers play a key role every day as ambassadors of gastronomic and enological excellence, and this is a way to express our gratitude”.
“I am delighted that our collaboration with Franciacorta can extend to the U.S. market, raising a glass together to the extraordinary successes of chefs and the restaurant industry in all our destinations”, says Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide. “Our shared values and commitment to promoting the food and wine sector show that this collaboration is the perfect combination to bring to the growing U.S. gastronomic scene”. “This collaboration”, says Mariangela Zappia, Ambassador of Italy to the United States, “will increase the appreciation of the American public not only for Italian wine, which is already much loved in this beautiful country, but also for the philosophy of Made in Italy that Franciacorta embodies perfectly, for our ability to combine tradition and innovation in a unique way, prioritizing well-being and sustainability, offering extraordinary quality and, in the food and wine sector, unparalleled taste”.
The Franciacorta Consortium is no stranger to important presences on the U.S. market: it is a partner of the “Emmy Awards”, the most prestigious event on American television (the next edition, No. 76, will be held in Los Angeles on September 15), which celebrates the industry’s greatest successes and most talented artists. In addition, for the past 12 years, it has been “Official Wine” of “Milan Fashion Week” and “Official Sparkling Wine” of “Mille Miglia”, the world’s most spectacular car race, and, of course, of the Michelin Guide Italy.
The year 2023 had closed with volume sales of 19.5 million equivalent bottles of Franciacorta and a positive trend in sales, up 2.8% on the previous year. Also relevant (from the point of view of the value attributed to the product by the market) was the growth figure in average prices, which marked +6.4% over 2022 as of December 2023. By the end of 2023, factors emerged that were highly likely to have negatively affected sales, such as reduced product availability from some wineries and the economic-social-climatic factors that had characterized the year. These, combined with growing geopolitical uncertainty, continue to show their influence in the first four months of 2024, which sees the status of volume sales slightly curbed over the same period in 2023 (4.3 million bottles; -5.9%). Reassuring, however, is the trend in turnovers, which, even in this first part of 2024, show better performance than in volumes, resulting in an increase in average prices of 1.4% over the same period of 2023.
Data for the first 4 months 2024 show very positive growth rates when compared with the pre-pandemic period. On 2019, the first quarter 2024 marks +9.4% in volumes, +24.9% in sales and +14.2% in average prices. More in detail, the domestic market accounts for 83.8% of sales in volume terms in the first four months; exports make up the remaining 16.3%. In Italy, Lombardy remains the leading region (35.6% of sales in Italy), followed by Emilia Romagna (14.0%). Veneto occupies the lowest position on the podium with 9.6% of sales. In terms of types, three-quarters of sales are Franciacorta, while Franciacorta Satèn and Franciacorta Rosé account for 13.9% and 11.7%, respectively. Globally, the average shelf price of an equivalent bottle, indistinct by type, stands at 24.60 euros (including vat) as of April 2024. In general, the Franciacorta Consortium focuses strongly on enhancing the value of production to reach the final consumer, particularly through the restaurant industry: “Franciacorta Restaurant Weeks”, the promotional initiative dedicated to tastings and pairings involving 16 high-end restaurants between New York (Corkbuzz, Creston, Principe, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, Antica Pesa), Miami (Ironside Pizza, Omakai, Toscano de Mare, Macchialina, Boia De, Chevre) and Chicago (Monteverde, Acanto, Table Donkey Stick, Atelier, Picnic Wine & Provisions), from June 5 to June 15, are born with this in mind.
If the U.S. is indeed the first world partner for Italian wine (in 2023 it earned our wineries more than 1.7 billion euros, despite a drop on 2022, and in the first two months of 2024 imports are up 5.9%, to 278 million euros), it also represents an increasingly important market for Franciacorta. According to Consortium data, Switzerland confirms its primacy for Lombardy sparkling wines, accounting for 21.5% of total exports, followed by Germany, which accounts for 12.5% of total exports in the first four months of 2024. Third is the United States (12.4% of the total). Then Japan (10.9% of exports) and Belgium (10.9% of exports). The positive performance of the Netherlands, China and Russia in this four-month period is also particularly interesting. Restraining exports, in addition to the aforementioned caution imposed by the intricate international situation, the recent report put together by Wine Monitor, the Nomisma Observatory, counts the accentuated destocking (inventory disposal) of intermediaries, the Fed’s monetary tightening in the United States and the progressive increased focus on healthy consumption. To this must be added, not least, the need to consider that overseas sales often follow, in the case of Franciacorta, a trend that is not linear, but “staggered”, according to the Consortium.

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