Allegrini 2018

Tuscan wine and the strength of its brand on the Italian market, exports, and wine tourism

The state of the art of one of Italy’s leading wine regions at "PrimAnteprima 2023" in Florence. Eugenio Giani: “wine is our history and our future”
Eugenio Giani, Dario Dainelli, Stefania Saccardi, and “Tinto” at “PrimAnteprima 2023”

What is the value of the Tuscan brand? Eugenio Giani, president of the Tuscan Region, said, “The explanation is very clear, the Italian bottled water, Acqua Panna (S.Pellegrino Group, ed.), increased sales +12%, after replacing the very strong “Made in Italy” brand with the Tuscan brand on its label. We must think about what it is worth when it is combined with wine, which in turn is linked to the historical, cultural, and landscape marvels of our Region that attract millions of tourists from all over the world”. Giani was joined on stage at the "PrimAnteprima 2023” by a “testimonial” that has two different passions, football, and wine. Dario Dainelli, former captain of the Fiorentina football team, and today a wine producer in Cerreto Guidi and the Isola del Giglio, with Dainelli Winery, “which functions like in football, with love, dedication and teamwork”, said the footballer-vigneron. The backdrop was the “Week of Previews”, which opened on February 12th in Florence, with Chianti and Morellino di Scansano. It will then continue with Chianti Classico, Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and “l’Altra Toscana, the number one attraction “in Tuscany that is always at the top of Italian wine tourism, due to its great ability to offer a set of experiences that link wine, oil, and other agricultural and food products, together with well-being, culture, sports, wineries, and historic villas, in large open spaces, which are becoming stronger and stronger trends”, Professor Roberta Garibaldi, one of the leading experts on food tourism in Italy, explained. And, then the numbers of the PDO world, which is falling behind in quantity, as AVITO’s numbers narrate here, but is growing in values, as the ISMEA (agro-food market services) analysis, presented by Tiziana Sarnari, revealed (excluding TGI Toscana, which is worth over 36% of the offer of Tuscan PDO and PGI wines, and is growing in volume and value, ed.).
According to ISMEA numbers, therefore, 2022 will be a record year for “Made in Tuscany” wine, at least from the point of view of PDO exports income. Estimates have indicated over 690 million euros (+7%), taking into consideration a decrease in volume (-3%), in line with the other National PDOs.
These numbers refer to the International trade of the Tuscan Region, which is seventh in the National ranking of wine produced and has an average share of 5% of the total. Its uniqueness, though, is being able to boast 58 acknowledged geographical indications on its territory, of which 52 PDO (11 DOCG and 41 DOC), and 6 TGI, which preside over almost all of the Tuscan vineyard area (95% compared to the National average that reaches 62-64%). In 2021, the most recent data available at the National level, Tuscany represented respectively 8% of the volume, 2.1 million hectoliters, and 11% of the National value of PDO wines: 1.2 billion euros. According to initial, not yet confirmed, calculations, 1.3 million hectoliters of PDO wine were bottled in 2022, down 7% compared to the previous year, while TGI wines dropped 8%, totaling 626.000 hectoliters.
Regarding exports, demand for Tuscan PDO wines is concentrated above all in non-EU countries (67% and 72% respectively in volume and in value), primarily in three directions — 57% of exports are sent to the USA, Germany, and Canada, while the United States alone accounts for 34% in volume and 38% in value. Within the European Community borders, demand for Tuscan PDO wines dropped 3.7%, and there was also a slight decrease in value. While overseas demand grew +17% in value, German demand fell both in volume and value, as did the demand in the United Kingdom The value of exports to Canada grew +10%, and volumes did equally well. In the Old World, the best expectations have come, surprisingly, from France, which scored +31% in terms of value. However, the shadows of global market uncertainties and cost increases are weighing on the brightness of the year that has just ended.
Domestic demand is also a concern, since there has been an overall decline in purchases on mass retail channels, and “Made in Tuscany” wine is no exception. In 2022, Tuscan PDOs registered a 10.6% decrease in volume, compared to a 6% drop in the wine sector as a whole. In terms of spending, Tuscan TGI wines have shown, for the second consecutive year, positive dynamics at +2.8%, following +3.5% in 2022. The negative note is that the current volumes purchased are lower than those of the pre-pandemic period.
Tuscany, however, boasts leadership in the vineyard, in terms of profitability and organic farming. As a matter of fact, 2022 marked a substantial increase in the average revenue in the vineyard, reaching more than 7.000 euros per hectare, thanks to the positive combination of an increase in grape prices and yields, compared to a low 2021. Chianti and Morellino di Scansano, especially, have registered increases above the National average on the wine market. The other great red wines have grown as well but at a lower rate. The Tuscan TGI wines have shown price lists growing +20% on an annual basis, compared to the National growth of just 3%. Over the past few years, the organic vineyard area has grown, too. The most recent available data from 2021 counted over 25.000 hectares in organic farming, which represents 40% of the entire Regional area and 20% of the total organic vineyard area in Italy. The estimate for organic wine production in the Region is 350.000 hectoliters, 15% of the 2.2 million hectoliters nationwide. Younger consumers are more and more drawn to organic productions.
The profile of the typical Tuscan DOC wine consumer is prevalently the “no longer young” families (64% of buyers are in the over 60 brackets), that earn medium-high incomes and reside in Central and Northern Tuscany. The biggest aficionados, instead, reside in the North Eastern area.
But one of Tuscany's greatest strengths is wine tourism, and the Region has always been a trailblazer. It is no coincidence that to date, Roberta Garibaldi explained, Tuscany is the second most visited region by Italian tourists, whose primary travel motivation is food and wine. Furthermore, it is number one in the ranking of the number of food and wine experience bookings on the TripAdvisor portal, and it is the third Italian Region of foreign tour operators specializing in food & wine tour packages. The official website, VisitTuscany.com, of the Tuscan destination managed by the Fondazione Sistema Toscana, confirms the appeal Tuscany has as a land of wine tourism, a travel driver together with an incomparable mix of art, culture, nature, and craftsmanship. In 2022, wine tourism-themed content was viewed more than 180.000 times, at an average of 500 visits per day, by a total of almost 160.000 users. The Italian public is the most interested (+16% compared to 2021), followed by Americans (+124%), Germans (+184%), Spanish (+182%), and English (+297%). Some of the content and the most clicked offers propose visits to and tastings in the wineries, wine tasting in the vineyards, and relaxing itineraries including wine therapy. “Overall, it is a positive picture and we are quite satisfied”, Stefania Saccardi, Councilor for Agriculture of the Tuscan Region, said, but, of course, we must keep on moving forward, because it is true that some denominations are doing very well, while instead others are facing more difficulties, in terms of production costs and the many uncertainties in this period for everyone. In addition, we must not underestimate the arrival of Flavescence Dorata, which has already hit hard in the North-East Regions, and that we are monitoring here as well”.
Wine, “has been in Tuscany’s DNA, from the Etruscans to the Middle Ages and from the Renaissance to Enlightenment; it is history and future, past and vision. Suffice it to say that today, some of the most popular and sought-after wines, such as Sassicaia, for instance, but this also applies to other wines, were the wines made “for home” by the Incisa della Rocchetta and the Antinori families in Bolgheri”, Eugenio Giani, president of the Tuscan Region, pointed out.
The “Week of Previews”, has been launched, and following the two days of “Buy Wine 2023”, on February 10th and 11th, and “PrimAnteprima”, it opened on Sunday, February 12th, with Chianti Lovers & Rosso Morellino, continuing on Monday, the 13th and Tuesday, February 14th with Chianti Classico Collection, and on Wednesday, February 15th, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Preview. Thursday, February 16th the Vernaccia di San Gimignano Preview, and Friday, February 17th, the L’Altra Toscana Preview (including the following Consortiums: Consorzio di Tutela dei Vini Carmignano, Consorzio Chianti Rufina, Consortium of Lucchesi Hills Wines, Cortona Wines Consortium, Orcia Wine Consortium, Consortium for the Protection of Maremma Tuscany Wines, Consortium for the Protection of Montecucco Wines, Consortium for the Protection of Suvereto and Val di Cornia PDO Wines, Consortium for the Protection of Terre di Casole Wines, Consortium Terre di Pisa wines, Tuscany Wine Consortium, Valdarno di Sopra DOC Wine Consortium). The story in the glass of a wine mosaic that has conquered the world, and become poetry, as told in the video here.

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