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The “Porto Cervo Wine & Food Festival”, International tourism in-the-glass trends in Italy

Marriott International’s prestigious showcase of Sardinia and the Costa Smeralda is back with “cream of the crop” iconic companies

The 12th edition of the “Porto Cervo Wine & Food Festival”, the prestigious International showcase of the Sardinia Region and the Costa Smeralda, organized by the Costa Smeralda Area, managed by Marriott International on behalf of Smeralda Holding (including over twenty restaurants and bars, the four luxury hotels Cala di Volpe, Romazzino, Pitrizza and Cervo, the Conference Center and the Pevero Golf Club, owned by the Qatar Investment Authority), together with the scientific advisor, Alessandro Torcoli, director of the historic magazine, “Civiltà del Bere”, and “I magnifici 80”, an exclusive selection of Sardinian, National and International companies, the “cream of the crop” wineries, is returning to the Cervo Conference Center in Porto Cervo from May 11th (day reserved for insiders) to May 14th (including days dedicated to enthusiasts). WineNews will talk about the latest trends of Italian wines that International tourists would like to “taste” in the glass, the importance of food and wine that motivate traveling to Italy and choosing dream destinations. And, of course, the role, once you’ve arrived at your destination, of the luxury hotel and haute cuisine industry, ambassadors of Made in Italy and excellent local products, while the most famous and iconic Italian tourist resorts pride themselves in keeping ties to their roots and their territory, community, history, culture and nature, which are the aspects that make the real difference in telling the world about the Italian lifestyle. The 60 “iconic” wineries from Italy and abroad, together with 20 colossal food names, will be the stars of the “Porto Cervo Wine & Food Festival”. Representing Tuscany, cult names such as Marchesi Frescobaldi, and their Luce della Vite and Ornellaia, Banfi, Ruffino, Domini Castellare di Castellina and Compagnia del Vino, covering the leading historical Regional denominations: Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri. For lovers of Amarone and Valpolicella wines, there will be “VIP” names such as Allegrini and Zenato. From the Center South Italy, historical and award-winning companies like Masciarelli from Abruzzi, San Marzano from Apulia and the Sicilian Donnafugata. Bubbles connoisseurs will choose between the Classic Method and the Charmat Method tasting the leading producers of Franciacorta Ca’ del Bosco, Bellavista and Ferghettina, alongside companies such as Villa Franciacorta and Corte Aura. Leading companies such as Bisol, Astoria, but also Santa Margherita and Foss Marai will represent Prosecco, and others. And, for Champagne lovers there will be no shortage of brands of the caliber of Deutz. There are 20 new entries, including Inama, famous for its signature Soaves, Umberto Cesari, a reference for the production of Sangiovese di Romagna, and Broglia, a prestigious company from Gavi. The “hard core” will obviously be the producers of the many Sardinian wine territories, spokesmen for native vines such as Vermentino, Cannonau, Bovale, Carignano, Nasco, Malvasia and many others, like Argiolas and AgriPunica, from Cantina Santadi to Cantina Mesa, Capichera, La Contralta and Sella & Mosca. And to top it all off, the performance of mixologists preparing exceptional cocktails. May 11th, opening day, will be entirely dedicated to business. The stars of the show will be the wineries, oenologists, specialized press, buyers and tourism and food and wine sector professionals. Indeed, the Festival was created also with the aim of promoting business development through meetings between exhibitors and potential buyers. From May 12th to 14th, instead, the doors will also be open to food producers and the public, and will include talk shows and workshops on current affairs, tastings and “fringe” events in the name of music and entertainment.
One of this edition’s new events is the “Porto Cervo Wine & Food Festival - Wine Wall”, a showcase within a showcase dedicated to the wineries participating at the Festival. It will be set up in one of the restaurants in the Porto Cervo Village and will remain throughout the year, to support the business even after the event. All the participating wineries will be included on the “wine cards” of at least one of the group’s outlets, while at the Festival they will have the opportunity to present their “Wine of tomorrow”, i.e., a special blend created by predicting the wine of the future, or else to launch a new line of products. Then, of course, the “Porto Cervo Wine & Food Festival Award”. Wines will be evaluated by a jury of experts in a blind tasting, organized in collaboration with the sommelier of the AIS - Italian Sommelier Association of Sardinia. The best wines will receive the official award, created specifically for the Festival. The categories competing will be: Regional wines (red, white, rosé and bubbles); National wines (red, white, rosé and bubbles); International wines and spirits. Further, the best in each category of the “Award" will become part of “Taste of Sardinia”, the initiative through which Costa Smeralda presents Italy’s excellence around the world. In this regard, The data Mediobanca has gathered significant data that demonstrates the strength of the Hotel sector in the Italian wine trade. As a matter of fact, the HORECA (hotel, restaurants, catering) distribution channel reaches 16% of the total, compared to 11% of direct sales at wineries.
“Following the three-year standstill, due to the Pandemic, Smeralda Holding and Marriott International are resuming their activity to support the territory and the entire Regional and National food and wine sector”, Franco Mulas, Costa Smeralda Area Manager, explained, “Costa Smeralda is striving to become, like other important Regional destinations, an ambassador and at the same time promoter of the excellent food and wine produced in Sardinia, in the Italian Peninsula and around the world”.
The “Porto Cervo Wine & Food Festival” is an international showcase offering exhibitors unique visibility opportunities, abroad as well as inside the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and bars on the Costa Smeralda. They serve more than 500.000 customers yearly that arrive from various geographical areas around the world, starting first and foremost from the USA (22%), the UK (11%) and Italy (10%). And then, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, France, Austria, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, the Principality of Monaco and Portugal. In 2022, the customers that stayed in accommodations managed by Marriott International for Smeralda Holding in the Costa Smeralda area, bought 61.000 bottles of wine, 6.000 bottles of spirits and 5.000 bottles of liqueurs.
The Festival has, over the years, increased its appeal and efficiency. The 2023 edition counts on historic companies with a strong appeal as well as prestigious new entries. Further, Sardinian brands are well represented, as 50% of the 60 participating wine & spirits exhibitors are Sardinian, confirming in itself that the growth of the Sardinian wine world that is well established in any International exhibition, thanks to the quality of its wines. In addition, 20% of the wineries are participating for the first time in the “Porto Cervo Wine & Food Festival”, while regarding the food sector, over half the producers come from Sardinia and it is the absolute debut for several companies at Costa Smeralda. The event, Alessandro Torcoli emphasized, “aims to become one of the essential events on the International agenda for the food and wine sector”.

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