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South Korea, wine imports soar, with Italy at the top, with 86 million euros in 2022

Trends from an increasingly important outpost in the Far East, at the Seoul event that closed the Vinitaly World Road Show

Small and big at the same time, South Korea’s market represents an increasingly important landing place for Italian wine in the Far East. Out of $565 million in total wine imports to the country in 2022 (a growth of +324% over 2011, the year of the free trade agreement with the EU), 86 were of Italian wine, 15% of the total. A market, that of South Korea, with high growth potential, which, after the exploit of import by volume marked in 2021, with still wines - especially reds - protagonists of a rebound to +60% on the Covid year, now registers the spurt of sparkling Italian wines, which, also in 2022, noted an increase in imports of 25%. According to the Uiv-Vinitaly Observatory, the most exported type of Italian wine is that of red wines, which in the last decade has marked an average annual growth of 13%, followed by whites (+8% per year) and sparkling wines, which thanks to the leap recorded in 2021 (+100% net) - and now that of 2022 - have come close to the threshold of 3 million liters sold, 25% of the total made in Italy wines marketed. Data that come at the end of the Seoul stage, which closed the roadshow by Vinitaly that, in one month, touched nine countries on three Continents (America, Europe, Asia), which account for 2/3 of Made in Italy wine exports in the world.
“In this country, Italian wine is becoming synonymous with culture and the Italian lifestyle. A paradigm of elegance and beauty and strong attractiveness that already involves other sectors with a more mature positioning such as fashion, design and furniture. Wine is not a habitual consumer product. This is why it is necessary to leverage the strong appeal of the “Italy brand” and the ability of our wines to adapt perfectly to the local diet and not only in combination with Western menus”, said the Ambassador of Italy to South Korea, Federico Failla, speaking last night at High Street Italia, the Made Italy showroom of Ice - Agency, Veronafiere’s partner in the extraordinary promotion and incoming campaign that began on January 19 in Rust (Austria). “South Korea is perhaps the most interesting emerging marketplace in the world”, said Veronafiere president Federico Bricolo, “with an increasingly competent and interested demand for all types of wines. A market in the great ferment that Veronafiere intends to preside over. We close an exceptional roadshow, also in terms of investment, with the first results of the incoming that will already be evident in April at Vinitaly. The strengthening of relations with institutional promotion partners in the different markets will allow us to continue the development plan of the event”.
The meeting was attended by a selection of top South Korean buyers, importers and stakeholders, who consider “Vinitaly the key marketplace for learning about Italian wines”. According to Ferdinando Gueli, director of the Ice-Agency Seoul Office, “the growing success of wine consumption in Korea has led to a very positive trend for our exports in recent years, as shown by recent data that indicate a doubling in both value and quantity that has occurred in less than three years. This trend encourages us to explore innovative ways of promotion such as the idea of proposing the pairing of Italian wine with traditional Korean culinary foods”.
Veronafiere thus closes a worldwide roadshow consisting of thirteen stages in which the 55th edition of Vinitaly, staged in Verona, April 2-5, 2023 (www.vinitaly.com), was also presented.

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