Consorzio Collio 2024 (175x100)
2-5 APRIL 2023, VERONA

Vinitaly: all the Government, great art (from the Uffizi to Verona) and the school, in support of wine

The Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida: “we must valorize wine and made in Italy by creating synergy between supply chains and excellence”

The entire Government, “perhaps with the president Giorgia Meloni”, at Vinitaly 2023, because “talking about wine means talking to Agriculture, but also to Infrastructure, Health, Made in Italy, Tourism, Foreign Affairs and etc”; the Bacchus by Caravaggio and the Boy Bacchus by Guido Reni, on loan from the Uffizi (which will be in the space of the Ministry of Agriculture, protected by unbreakable glass cases and constantly supervised by two Policemen, insured by Generali Assicurazioni, ed) in an event “Bacco di Vino”, which is a “clear message about what Italy is, and about wanting to systematize the excellence we have, between goodness, quality and beauty”; the involvement of agricultural and hotel schools, “where those who tell the made in Italy story are trained and play an important role, because it is storytelling that creates added value, which we must grow and redistribute throughout the supply chain in order to avoid creating disequilibrium”: here are the messages launched by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, Francesco Lollobrigida, interviewed by WineNews (here the audio), in the presentation of Vinitaly 2023, staged from 2 to 5 April, in Verona, “more and more business event and with more incoming than ever, in which we have invested all possible resources, including those of the gala dinner, for example, which we will not do, for a fair at the complete disposal for companies that need to do business and deals”, said the president and CEO of VeronaFiere, Federico Bricolo and Maurizio Danese.
“Vinitaly is an event that promotes itself, as proved by 55 years of activity in the promotion of the excellence of Italian wine - said Lollobrigida - and the growth of added value, which must be sought on the market because a product creates added value wealth that goes to support even the weakest. Today is water day, but we are talking about wine which contains a lot of it, between 75-90%, and then there is also alcohol which must never be abused, but we will talk about it with many initiatives against the model that standardize products and stigmatize some of them by penalizing diversity”, said the Minister, with a clear reference to the Irish proposal on health warnings on labels. Adding: “it has always been said that an excess of wine is harmful, and I subscribe to it, excessive consumption is bad for everything. But no one in 4,000 years of history had thought to write that wine was bad at all, an idea that came from Ireland, which does not produce wine. Which has opened the door to a play that, however, can serve as a catalyst for an important work of positive counterinformation”. In the future, there will be a more multidisciplinary approach than ever before. “As a Minister - added Lollobrigida - I have decided to tackle each matter within a more complex framework of enhancement of Made in Italy, which arises from the work of many entrepreneurs who remain in the area, also due to their attachment to the territories themselves, and who have renounced the relocation that would have made some territories desert. A choice, on the other hand, made by many, and sometimes also driven by political errors, that entrepreneurs must, first and foremost, not hinder them, and then help them grow in the world, perhaps to have lower costs and a greater impact by attempting to bring legitimate interests together in a more complex framework, for the benefit of all. Dialogue is required, even between Ministries: if one speaks of wine, it is obvious that one must speak of Agriculture, but one must also speak of Infrastructures, which are used to work and export, with the Environment, to consider a balance of economic, environmental, and social factors, with Health, to understand what is good and what is not, and again with Made in Italy, Foreign Affairs, and Tourism, which sees our food and wine excellence as one of the most important reasons. One cannot fail to dialogue, and one must not even multiply similar promotional initiatives which then perhaps get annoyed with each other: we have found ourselves, even with the ICE, in many countries, where a thousand players, between Regions, Chambers of Commerce and so on, promote. And we simply said to each other, why don’t we do it together, putting resources into a system to have more impact on the markets?”.
This vision also inspired the idea of the Ministry of Agriculture having a different presence at Vinitaly than in the past. “We have worked on a more active presence, not just support, but participation in the event, with numerous initiatives, said Lollobrigida. Starting, Sunday at 12:30, with “Bacchus of Wine”, an opening event that will see us bring two priceless masterpieces to Vinitaly, the Bacchus by Caravaggio and the Boy Bacchus by Guido Reni. An initiative for which I thank the Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano, who dedicated himself a lot, the top management of the Uffizi Gallery who lend us the works, and Generali Assicurazioni who, with a sponsorship, will cover the costs, therefore without a penny of public spending for this. It is the great art that is linked to the cultural tradition of wine, a clear message, to allow those unfamiliar with this product to delve into these 4,000 years of history, with Socrates already praising moderate consumption. Furthermore, the Arena di Verona will provide us with a soundtrack of various arias dedicated to the toast, and Bruno Vespa, who as a journalist and producer was skeptical that we would bring these works to Verona, but obviously he is pleased: yes, it will be possible to visit and see the paintings in groups of 25 people, obviously for security reasons, but it is an important message that we wanted to convey”.
Moreover, the Ministry of Agriculture has scheduled a number of events, including one that has yet to be defined in detail and will include, “perhaps, even if it has yet to be formalized, the presence of President Giorgia Meloni. We will discuss tourism, food, and wine with our Tourism colleague, Daniela Santanchè, business and Made in Italy, of which wine is an example, with our colleague Adolfo Urso, and wine and health with the Minister of Health Schillaci, who is a world-renowned scientist, and perhaps with colleagues from Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, and Infrastructures, Matteo Salvini”.
The most beautiful aspect, however, is “the active participation of agricultural and hotel schools”, according to Minister Lollobrigida. Storytelling is what adds value to a product: having restaurant staff who can tell you what you eat and drink before you order adds value. And this ability is formed in schools. And we have to go back to telling young people, but also their parents, that attending a hotel or agricultural school is not a condemnation: there is an employability rate of 80-90%, which, with a degree in the subject, rises to 300%. Therefore, we will bring schools and students to Vinitaly to meet those who create excellence and understand how excellence is achieved, with the expectation that they will “in return” help us tell the story of the products and our excellence. Something that must be done synergistically by connecting supply chains. On March 26, for example, we will be in Barcelona at one of the world’s largest fish fairs, exhibiting fish that, with the exception of caviar produced in Lombardy and some mollusks produced in small areas of Italy, we cannot export because we do not have any. So we’ll go sell wine that goes well with fish, oil, and fish-related tourist resorts because we want to sell an Italian supply chain that can produce more added value than a single product”.
A clear vision, therefore, that of Minister Lollobrigida on Made in Italy, and on wine “a vital sector, despite all the difficulties that the world is facing, between inflation and war”, said the vice director of “Corriere della Sera” Luciano Ferraro. A sector that will be the focus of a “Vinitaly sold out, in Verona, and which continues with its initiatives abroad, such as the recently concluded road show and the launch of new initiatives, such as Vinitaly USA, which will be in Chicago”, said Federico Bricolo, president of VeronaFiere. Who expressed gratitude to Lollobrigida for the artistic initiative, saying, “These are things that are often said but then not done, we will do it, creating a new way of describing wine and Italy with its best excellence”.
All to boost an economic sector that, according to VeronaFiere CEO Maurizio Danese, “according to a Prometeia research, has a turnover of over 31 billion euros, and has the best Made in Italy trade balance, with assets of 7.6 billion euros”.
Also, thanks to an export record of nearly 8 billion euros in 2022, recalled Ice Agency President Matteo Zoppas, while emphasizing that it is “an export record somewhat distorted by the growth of costs passed on to prices, moreover at slightly decreasing volumes”. Even if some wines, such as Prosecco, have a value increase of more than 20% and a volume increase of more than 6%. However, in a scenario that still pays the long wave of Covid, and then the war, with all the cost increases, and glass in the lead, they are, in any case, positive data, even if the wines with lower margins risked disappearing from the market. Today, the trend is reversing; the cost of transportation is decreasing, albeit not at the initial level, and the cost of energy is decreasing as well, albeit greatly aided by the tax credit. In any case, this suggests that 2023 will be less negative than it could have been a few months ago. However, it is critical to bring operators such as restaurateurs who promote Italian wines around the world, as well as buyers, to Italy, which is why Ice has invested heavily in incoming, with over 1,000 top buyers and operators from over 130 countries attending Vinitaly 2023”. Where business, culture, art, politics, government, and education will coexist, as never before.

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