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Italian red wines have increased by 200% since 2010 for the premium segment, that worth 1,9 billion eur

In ten years, the trend will change, with high segment reds overtaking popular and basic segment reds for the first time: Osservatorio Uiv-Vinitaly
The red denominations accelerate the positioning in the high segment

Structural decline of red wine? The Uiv-Vinitaly Observatory’s analysis, however, shows that this is not actually the case; rather, we are witnessing an acceleration toward the much-desired positioning in the premium of the most moral Italian red wine denominations. Red wine, the ultimate oenological symbol, appears to be suffering the most in an export market dominated by sparkling wines (+6% volumes in 2022), where still whites (+1.3%) and rosés have held up. However, although it is true that in Italy this typology performed the worst of all (-4.3% in exported quantities), with noticeable declines in the top 3 demand countries (Germany at -5%, USA at -6%, and UK at -8%), the breakdown of sales data by price segment holds important surprises.
The premium categories (from 6 to 9 euros/liter in the cellar) and super premium (over 9 euros) have seized very significant market shares over the past 12 years, according to the qualitative analysis of Italian red wine exports that appears in “Vinitaly 2023”. For example, given the general decline in exported volumes of red, in 2010 products under 6 euros represented two-thirds of the market in value terms; today the trend has reversed, with the over 6 euro group accounting for 60% of sales. In just over 10 years, the growth of the high-end segment, which is now worth 1.9 billion euros in exports, has been 200%.
According to Maurizio Danese, CEO of Veronafiere, “We are witnessing an important change in the positioning of our product; the market demands glasses that can capture the essence of Italy, and we have the potential to meet this demand in the best way possible. The emerging Asian markets, which have re-entered this “Vinitaly” in force beginning in China, will inevitably also influence the future of our reds. Actuality, we welcome demand operators from 17 Asian nations in addition to 130 top buyers from the Dragon. Additionally, we will begin again in April with a vigorous promotional campaign in China, starting with masterclasses at “Vinitaly Chengdu” and concluding with our “Wine to Asia in Shenzhen” fair, which will be held from May 11–13.
According to Lamberto Frescobaldi, president of the Unione Italiana Vini-Uiv, “a number of outlet markets are exhibiting signs of fatigue towards products with undefined personalities and with organoleptic characteristics that are not in keeping with the evolution of taste in progress”. We find ourselves on one side with many wines which, despite being offered at a very affordable price, are struggling to sell today; on the other with a strong demand for quality products, in line with the image that all made in Italy is able to evoke. Although this is encouraging, there is still a disconnect between the market and the actual production of many of our reds”.
To favor this trend of valorization of red products, protagonists in particular in the world catering at often tenfold prices, some of the main markets. Starting with the USA, the hub of a premium trend (at 480 million euros) where red wines from Italy account for 72% of all sales (+222% since 2010). Also noteworthy is the growth of products intended in particular for catering in Canada (72% and +141%), Switzerland (76% and +143%), France (70%), and South Korea (79%). On the other hand, robust shares of basic products persist in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Russia.
The data clearly demonstrates a market split between those eager to enter a new phase, motivated by territorial or brand value, and those who are instead anchored to a fixed conception of Made in Italy wine, made more out of quantity than of intrinsic value. The challenge will be in expanding those markets that are currently in the middle, such as Germany, which still sees 50% of volumes in the 3-5.99 euro range, as well as other significant markets like Denmark, Norway, Austria, and generally the Eastern European nations, which are currently experiencing rapid development, such as Poland and the Czech Republic.
The “Vinitaly” tour in China, with the support of Ice, will first stop in Chengdu for the opening masterclass with the only Chinese master sommelier Yang LV and - with the subsidiary “Wine to Asia” - for the organization of a business forum with one of the most influential wine platforms in China, “Wine Sommelier”. Then, on April 14, we take a flight to Shenzhen where, along with Ice and the Altagamma Foundation, we will hold a tasting and present Italy at “Wine to Asia” (May 11–13) in the Italian Pavilion of the Hainan Government Fair. Over 450 exhibitors from 20 countries are anticipated at the Veronafiere international event in Shenzhen.

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