Allegrini 2024

Vinitaly from Brussels to Verona to represent the importance of wine in Italy, the EU and the world

Veronafiere top executives Bricolo and Danese, in launching edition 56: in Europe the sector is worth 45 billion, 1/3 thanks to Italian wine

A total turnover of 45 billion euros: that’s how much wine is worth to the European Union, the world’s largest wine region, with France, Italy and Spain accounting for more than 80% (data from the Uiv-Vinitaly-Prometeia Observatory). Italy, where the sector generates a turnover of more than 30 billion euros (in 2022), 14 billion of which can be attributed to wine production, which sees 530,000 companies active throughout the supply chain with 870,000 workers, and which, with 7.8 billion euros in sales abroad in 2023, represents the first item in the agrifood trade balance with a surplus of 7.2 billion euros. But Italian wine is also and above all the second world power in the sector and a leading player in the Union field, where it accounts for a third of the sector’s total market. These are the numbers reiterated by Veronafiere in the launch of Vinitaly 2024 (Verona, April 14-17), today, for the first time at the European Parliament in Brussels, in the heart of European politics, where there are so many open issues for wine and for all of agriculture (today and in the coming days online WineNews interviews from the European Quarter, waiting for the European elections), to light a further spotlight on the sector, which has in Vinitaly its fair brand of promotion, and “represent” the importance that wine has for Italy (in edition no. 56, on April 15, on the first National Day of Made in Italy, a study by the Uiv-Vinitaly Observatory and Prometeia will be presented on the impact that Italy would suffer from a hypothetical disappearance of wine, ed.), in the EU and worldwide.
Waiting to deal with the highest representatives of the Italian government, institutions and foreign governments that, as every year, will be at Vinitaly in Verona - where, according to WineNews rumors, Premier Giorgia Meloni is expected to be present - “Brussels”, said Federico Bricolo, president of Veronafiere (while also recalling his private audience with Pope Francis last January), “is a choice that originates from a careful analysis of several factors that threaten a strategic capital of made in Italy and made in the European Union. In a complex context in which geopolitical crises, evolving dynamics of reference markets and consumption models, climate change and instances of health fundamentalism converge, Vinitaly intends to reaffirm and demonstrate its identity, which is not to be alone alongside Italian wine, but to be part of it and to want to contribute, while respecting roles, starting with those of politics and representative associations, to the growth of what we believe is a strategic socio-economic driver for Made in Italy and for the entire country. The economic value of Italian wine is beyond question, but wine cannot be separated from its social weight. Wine, in fact, does not only create wealth for companies that operate directly in the sector, but it brings well-being to entire communities, entire regions, and is at the same time culture, sustainability and tradition. It is a product that preserves territories and landscapes, making them attractive for tourism by handing them over intact to new generations. A snapshot of success that is reflected in the role of wine as an exceptional booster for our country’s exports, a forerunner for the internationalization of the entire food sector, whose products land on markets already conquered by wine with a time lag of 2 years”.
Internationalization that recalls Vinitaly’s role “in the promotion of our flagship product on the foreign markets presided over by the trade fair brand since 1998”, recalled Bricolo, “when we carried out the first event in China, where Vinitaly Chengdu No. 10 closed yesterday and where we will return for Wine To Asia No. 2 (May 9-11), followed by Wine South America in September in Brazil and Vinitaly USA in Chicago in October for the largest ever fair of Italian wine in America. Contributing significantly to the positioning of Italian wine in the main strategic areas, in 2023, on the impetus of Veronafiere’s new governance, we have structured a top-level Incoming office so as to further strengthen the international vocation with an extraordinary first promotion and incoming campaign culminating in the 30,000 operators from 140 countries present in Verona in 2023 (out of a total attendance of 93,000), a breakthrough edition, and one that we count on developing more and more. The new governance of Veronafiere has imposed a new step for Vinitaly, which in the last two years has formed, for the first time, the unified team for the promotion of Italian wine by pooling the know-how of the brand with that of the Government, the Ministries of Agriculture and Made in Italy, Embassies, promotion bodies and structures - Ice Agency in primis - activating an increasingly dense agenda of sharing with players in the sector on a global scale. A winning path, put in the field, again this year in view of the April appointment with a calendar of events, fairs, roadshows and previews in 18 cities in 15 key countries between North America, Europe, the Far East, the Balkans and Brazil that are worth a total of 78% of the entire Italian wine export and that will also be developed at Vinitaly with a series of joint initiatives. And it is precisely Brussels, with the last stage of the “Vinitaly Preview” (the promotional actions in key “buyer hunting” of Veronafiere with the Chamber system abroad and the Embassies, ed.), yesterday evening at the Embassy and today’s presentation conference, that projects us to Verona for an edition that certainly already looms large. An appointment much awaited by companies that also expect support and concrete answers from EU policy also in relation to the uncertainties of the global scenario. And Vinitaly wants to continue to play its part, facilitating constructive confrontation useful for the growth of this strategic sector”.
Vinitaly 2024 in Verona where, as always, also in edition no. 56 (Veronafiere, April 14-17), there is all the made-in-Italy wine from all Italian regions and more than 30 nations, and the world’s leading exhibition dedicated to Italian wine is ready to become the international agora of wine business (for 4. 000 wineries already confirmed), welcoming 1,200 top-buyers from 65 countries, a record - and worth 95% of the total made-in-Italy wine exports - to be joined by an estimated 30,000 foreign operators from over 140 nations. The largest contingent, remains the U.S. (15% of attendance), followed by three strategic non-EU markets: Canada, China and the United Kingdom (23%). At the macro-region level, the largest audience comes from North America and Europe (26%), followed by Asia and Oceania (23%), Eastern Europe (13%), Central and South America (7%) and Africa (4%). Anticipating Vinitaly, OperaWine, the usual preview scheduled on the eve (April 13, Mercatali Galleries), the only event organized abroad by “Wine Spectator” to showcase 131 selected Italian producers along the Boot (as we reported on WineNews).
“Vinitaly has the conviction that it can do a lot for a sector of which we feel an integral part”, explained Maurizio Danese, CEO of VeronaFiere. “In a period that is certainly not easy, giving the right answers is an imperative towards those who invest in the fair. The first key word is “business”, the second is “awareness” of a strategic, as well as identity capital for the Italian and European economy. We have made “door-to-door” relationships on a global scale, to activate a selected network of interest in Vinitaly, therefore in Italian wine, by the global demand for wine in the world, from outlet markets to emerging markets. In the last 6 months we have made a path of events between road shows, tastings and “Vinitaly Preview” that materialized in 18 stops on 3 Continents. For this edition, to date, there will be 1,200 top-buyers invited and hosted at Vinitaly, thanks to a direct investment by Ice-Agenzia and Veronafiere (of 3 million euros, ed.). A contingent that exceeds that of 2023 by 20 percent and 2022 by more than 70%. Increasing numbers, but also a qualitative evolution of representation selected with great care”.
Broadening the field, Danese added, “we are convinced that the acceleration on international routes undertaken by Vinitaly is the most necessary. A need, that of being more present abroad also with proprietary events, which unites the entire Italian exhibition system, chronically lagging behind on this front. In its new strategic plan One 2024-2026, Veronafiere has planned investments of 30 million euros also to go along with its expansion goals in Italy (with 5 new fairs) and directly in target markets. And Vinitaly will be a protagonist: already next October 20 and 21 in Chicago, after the number zero in 2023, we will plant the first trade fair flag in the United States with a b2b event. It will be called Vinitaly USA and the institutional bodies in charge, from Ice to the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Chicago, will collaborate with us. The U.S. debut is another piece in a trade fair puzzle that today includes Asia, with Wine to Asia, and South America, with Wine South America, in addition to a galaxy of b2b events and tastings, 20 of them, organized by Vinitaly around the world”.
Analysis of markets and new trends, incoming demand, growth of services and evolution in the management of a huge database “are Vinitaly’s strategic assets of a future that has already begun 
and that we strongly want to be functional for our producers, businesses and the allied industries of a sector these days too often perceived in an alarmist key”, Danese concluded, “which is why at Vinitaly, on the occasion of the first National Day of Made in Italy (April 15) we will present, with the Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, the research “If you take wine away from Italy, a dip in the glass half empty”, carried out by the Uiv-Vinitaly Observatory and Prometeia on the impact that the Belpaese would suffer in socio-economic, tourism and identity terms from a hypothetical disappearance of wine from Italy” with three focuses on Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino and Etna. And with the minister who, to WineNews, had explained how at Vinitaly 2024 “we have organized, with OIV, an event that will bring together the Ministers of Agriculture who founded the International Organization of Vine and Wine, and those of many other countries, we will still bring art and culture, as we did in 2023, but also many exhibits from the Lungarotti family’s Wine Museum in Torgiano, a project that tells the story of the link between wine and food through cinema with Cinecittà, and something very much related to technology that talks about the future”.A curiosity?At Vinitaly 2024, still from WineNews rumors, there will also be an elegant carriage of the new “Orient Express - La Dolce Vita”, the train-myth (now owned by the French group Accor) that from the end of 2024 will also return to travel to Italian wine territories. But,as always with the formula of business at the fair and wine-lovers in the city in Verona, wine culture will also be the protagonist of “Vinitaly and the City”, the “fuori salone” promoted by Vinitaly that, from what we learn, could be a format exportable, in the future, to other cities as well.

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