Allegrini 2018

Polo del Gusto returns to the wine world: “advanced negotiations for a new acquisition in Barolo”

Riccardo Illy speaks, on the future of the holding that brings together Illy group’s non-coffee activities (following the “sale” of Mastrojanni, in Montalcino)
Riccardo Illy, at the helm of the Polo del Gusto

Soon the Polo del Gusto of the Illy Group will return to the world of wine: “we are in the advanced stage of negotiations for an acquisition in Barolo, in Piedmont”. This was confirmed to WineNews by Riccardo Illy, president of the high-end holding which brings together all the non-coffee activities of the family group, with brands such as the Domori chocolate from Piedmont (which, for five years, will distribute, exclusively in Italy, the Champagne Barons de Rothschild, ed), the French tea Dammann Frères, Pintaudi biscuits and Agrimontana preserves, among others, and which, in 2021, had reached a turnover of 70 million euros. Following the sale of Mastrojanni, one of the Brunello di Montalcino brands, to Francesco Illy (who was already the owner of Podere Le Ripi, a biodynamic reality in the Brunello area ed), who actually left the group, redesigning its governance, Polo del Gusto thus returns to betting on high-end bottles.
“I define Brunello and Barolo as universal wines - says Riccardo Illy - territories with a very long history and a hopefully just as long future, sold globally in dozens and dozens of markets. After leaving of the Tuscan wine, now a great wine from Piedmont will enter Polo del Gusto”, explains Illy, underlining that “currently we do not have any concrete contacts to return to Montalcino, but I do not exclude that it could happen in the future”.
“The last year has been very dynamic - continues Francesco Illy - there has been a significant increase in the group’s turnover. We purchased Achillea, a small company that produces excellent juices, as well as Pintaudi, a small company that makes top-quality biscuits. We also have a stake in Simest (an investment company controlled by the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Group, ed), in Prestat, our English subsidiary, for the development of Domori in the UK. We are also planning to conduct an operation on Dammann Frères’ capital in the coming weeks. As a result, 2023 starts as also very effervescent”.
Despite the difficulties that the global economy is experiencing, the high-end food and wine sector does not appear to be in crisis, and it continues to grow: “quality products are an accessible luxury during traditional recessions, explains Illy, and serve as a sort of “compensation” for foregoing more important purchases such as a house, a car, or a new dress. As a result, these genres thrive during economic downturns. Considering that economists predict a slowdown in inflation, I believe 2023 will be quite a good year. Furthermore, there is a positive signal coming from horeca and tourism, which both continue to grow. As a result of this, we have cautiously optimistic expectations”.

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