Allegrini 2018

James Suckling: from the Renaissance of Italian wine to the future on Asian markets

At WineNews the guru of the world wine critics, who, in Florence, brought together the 400 best producers in Italy for the exclusive “Magnum Party”

Perhaps nothing, like the escalation on the scale of the scores of a world wine guru like James Suckling, can better explain the Renaissance experienced by Italian wine in the last forty years, because if until then “for an Italian wine reaching 90 points was news, today is the news”, as told WineNews the historical signature of the wine critics, who, in Florence, in the Villa di Maiano, overlooking the city, called together the 400 best wine producers in Italy for the exclusive event “Magnum Party”. “It is incredible how many winemakers work well in the vineyard - Suckling continues - and this is the most important thing, but also in the cellar, eliminating any defect. It's the right time to buy and drink great Italian wines, the average level is now very high”.
But if high quality is now a consolidated reality, China is still a long way off, where Italian wine would need a modern Marco Polo who, in the wake of the Venetian traveler, would introduce the richness of Italian wine to the whole of Asia. A role that fascinates James Suckling: “I like the idea of becoming the Marco Polo of Italian wine, I work a lot in Mainland China, where I spend long periods while living based in Hong Kong. There is no one, in terms of wine media, who does our work in China, ours is a great investment in the Chinese market. After all - continues Suckling - it is interesting for me how the best Italian wines are now able to arouse not only the curiosity but the interest of the major distributors of Bordeaux wines on the eastern markets, from China to Japan, from Russia to emerging countries such as Kazakhstan, where it is difficult for Italian wines to enter. It’s a sign that Italy is on its way”.
In this sense, it is important to know how to communicate the peculiarities and uniqueness of Italian wine, because Italy has its main features in the many native vines and the many expressions of the territory, but on closer inspection, in the world, and therefore also on the Asian market, the most successful wines are the Super Tuscans, or bottles of Bordeaux blend, if you exclude the samples of Barolo, Brunello and Chianti Classico. “Sometimes people don’t understand what is in front of them - explains the critic - but Asian consumers are curious, they want to learn, so I think there could be a great future for Italian wines in Asia. The most important thing now is to do promotion, all under the Italian flag, making it clear that drinking an Italian wine means drinking the history of Italy, its fashion and art. Yours - recalls James Suckling, who was the correspondent in the Belpaese for “Wine Spectator” until 2010 - is a crazy country, where people are kind and the food is delicious. It is an image that Italian wine must be able to communicate, this is the key to selling well, especially because there are so many Chinese and Koreans who choose Italy for their holidays, after visiting France, discovering Italian wines and cuisine, it is a great fortune that Italy must be able to exploit”.

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