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Vinitaly 2023: dominated by politics, with lots of business, and open to the world

“Interpretation” of a fair where the government made important commitments, and put wine in the news

Politics and the government, in particular, took center stage as never before at Vinitaly 2023. A government that plastically brought to the fair the pairing, winning, wine/art, with Caravaggio’s Bacchus and Reni’s Bacchus (an idea of Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, which many applauded, as we recounted in the interview with Culture Minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, the director of the Uffizi, Eike Schmidt, and the Governor of Tuscany, but which was also criticized, as Vittorio Sgarbi did in this video, to WineNews), which talked about wine and health, business support and so on. The reason, of this massive presence, was summarized by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, also in two different interviews: “the agri-food and wine sectors represent the perfect synthesis of economy, work, health, culture, history and environment. I could not miss this edition of Vinitaly. The massive presence of the government is a signal of the attention we wanted to give to this world”. Good, then, if this massive attention and communication will turn into concrete acts. Otherwise (as has happened other times in the past, though perhaps to a lesser degree) it will have been just propaganda, and that would be a real shame. For businesses, first of all, and for Vinitaly, too.
Because if one certainty emerges from this edition-which, once again, WineNews reported “as a guest” in the institutional space of Marche, a Region that brings together Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Matelica and Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno - it is that it was a fair of relationships, as always, but also increasingly about business, and international business, thanks to the many buyers from around the world, and especially from the U.S. and China, but not only, brought in thanks to the incoming put in place by Veronafiere and Ice Agency, but also to the many business partners from around the world invited directly by wine companies (93,000 total attendance, of which 29,600 foreigners, according to Veronafiere data, with a +20% increase in the number of foreign buyer entries, over 2022, from 143 countries), who remain the true protagonists of the sector, the driving force of an articulated world, the wine world, which, if it sees in trade fairs an essential moment of trade and business, must have, more and more, the ability to move communication to the territories, where everything is born, putting wine in true synergy with the landscapes, history, art, beauty and cuisine that make up that charm that makes Italy one of the most loved and visited countries in the world.
Businesses that, according to the nearly 900 entrepreneurs met by the entire WineNews staff, during these four days of the fair, - anticipated by Opera Wine, the great tasting signed by “Wine Spectator”, told with interviews with the magazine’s tasters, Alison Napjus and Bruce Sanderson, but also to the producers who have been there forever and to the more “pop” ones selected in the “elite” of Italian wine according to the American publication - were largely satisfied with the influx of buyers and professional visitors, foreign but also Italian (representing that whole market that, often obscured by export successes, remains the most important, overall), and with the efforts made by Veronafiere, which, in 2024, will be staged from April 14 to 17.
“We closed a Vinitaly 2023 finally in full swing, which saw a choral participation of operators, institutions and media. We are particularly satisfied with the feedback we are getting from companies and territories, which represent the real strength of this event”, said Veronafiere president Federico Bricolo. Who added, “the goal is to build with institutional partners a permanent and coordinated promotional platform capable of attracting incoming investment on Italy on the one hand, and on the other on the Italian product abroad with a rooting of Veronafiere-after Brazil and China-in the United States, Japan, South Korea and the Far East”. “The investments made in favor of foreign incoming”, said Veronafiere CEO Maurizio Danese, “have given a first concrete result to a Vinitaly that we want to be increasingly decisive for the business of exhibitors who set aside significant resources for the event. A supply-demand matching that has worked, as demonstrated also by the more than 11,000 appointments planned between exhibitors and buyers on the Vinitaly Plus platform, which are in addition to those set directly between companies and buyers. The new course has begun but it is certainly not over: Vinitaly”, Danese concluded, “will always be the carrier of Made in Italy, both here and abroad, if it thinks in terms of development of the sector and its companies, and this is what we are trying to do”.
In the top five countries of origin, the United States pulls well ahead of Germany. Third remains the United Kingdom, while China returns to fourth position, bypassing Canada. Notwithstanding the general growth of the European market, we note the great return of operators from all non-EU markets: Asia, which more than doubled (+116%) driven by the return of the Chinese who exceeded 1,000 presences, and Japan (+143%). The Americas marked +38% with exploits from the US (+45%) and Brazil (+46%), as well as further consolidation from Canada (+19%). Australia also in triple digits, at +130%.
But closed yesterday the fair in Verona, now the stages of Vinitaly China are opened: with the support of Ice Agency, will be Chengdu (April 11) the first appointment, with , in the foreground, the masterclass with the only Chinese master sommelier Yang LV in addition to a business forum - organized by the subsidiary Wine to Asia - with one of the most influential platforms dedicated to wine in China, Wine Sommelier. It then flies to Shenzhen, on April 14, in the Italian Pavilion of the Hainan Government Fair, for a tasting and presentation of Italy at Wine to Asia (May 11-13), together with Ice Agenzia and Fondazione Altagamma. In Shenzhen, Veronafiere's international event, more than 450 exhibitors from 20 countries are expected to attend. Because the business of wine and its promotion never stops.

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