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Overcoming the challenges of wine and designing its future: the “Wine Ministerial Meeting”

Giorgia Meloni: “wine is fundamental in our culture”. The words of Minister of Agriculture, Lollobrigida, and OIV president, Luigi Moio

Italy leading the way, of course, and then the great wine powers such as France and Spain, and representatives from Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, Georgia, Germany, Greece, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary and Uzbekistan. All gathered in the first “Wine Ministerial Meeting”, today, in Franciacorta, at Ca’ del Bosco, and tomorrow in Verona, for OperaWine and Vinitaly, wanted by the Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, together with OIV president, who is celebrating 100 years, Luigi Moio, for a moment of international confrontation to face the challenges and draw the future of world wine.
“We are extremely proud to host this first edition of the “Wine Ministerial Meeting”, an acknowledgment of the value of Italian wine, which is an irreplaceable piece of Italy’s cultural heritage”, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said in a message opening the meeting, “as is agriculture. We must protect wine, farmers’ income, and look to young people. Points that we will also put at the center of the final document of these works, for which I thank the Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, and the president of OIV, Luigi Moio. Today you are in Franciacorta, tomorrow you will be in Verona, places that remain in the heart. And with my heart I am with you”.
In the background, there are challenges identical, in some ways, to those for which 100 years ago, out of an agreement between Italy, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Tunisia, Hungary, Greece and Portugal, the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) was in fact born, that is, as President Luigi Moio recalled several times, to revive European viticulture from phylloxera, and to affirm the beneficial and cultural values of wine in a world that was experiencing, at least in part, the season of prohibition, through scientific research. Issues that are still relevant today, as reminded by the Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida: “this meeting is important because here we want to reaffirm the value of wine, which is not only economic, but also cultural and identity, and to defend it from those who attack it today as if it were only alcohol, when, instead, it is much more. Abuses are to be combated, of course, but we must protect a model that is excellence, and which must be promoted under the banner of drinking little, in moderation; well, giving more and more quality to production through research; and of paying the right amount with respect to the quality of the product, which must be perceived and recognized by those who drink it. With Luigi Moio and the French Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, we shared the idea of starting from here the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the OIV, which will then come to Dijon, where the Organization’s headquarters are, in the coming months. Thanks to Maurizio Zanella who is hosting us in this beautiful winery”, added Minister Lollobrigida, “which is an emblematic story: it was born in just a few years, developed from nothing, from a small house in the woods, hence the name Ca’ del Bosco, and in little more than 20 years became a reference of Italian wine. I emphasize this because in our agricultural model there is the preservation of the territory, quality, research, and the production of wealth without damaging the environment, and this is what we are proposing in the document that we submitted to you”, Lollobrigida said again, opening the meeting, “both to the historical nations of wine production and to those that have entered it more recently. We believe that the farmer is the first environmentalist, he often receives that land he lives off from his parents and wants to pass it on to his children: this is our model of development to maintain, and to promote in the world. Because we are here to learn, but also to teach, because Italy, with the quality of its products, its system of controls, its respect for territories and labor, on certain issues, has always had a leading role in the world, which we must reaffirm”.
Looking to a future, for wine, that also passes through the issues being discussed at the “Wine Ministerial Meeting”. Which are all fundamental to “continuing to produce quality wine, looking at climate change, but also at low-impact, light wine-making, but also at the drop in consumption, at the rebalancing of supply and demand. We need to reaffirm wine as culture, as the voice of territories, especially towards young people. Wine must be a real expression of the places where it is produced; it is an agricultural product, but one that lives in a changing scenario. I hope from this conference and the integral one that will be in Dijon in October, an official and shared document on these issues will come out, because these things are done together, with the comparison between nations and countries”, added the president of the International Organization of Vine and Wine, Luigi Moio.

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