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Allegrini 2018
PANDEMIC

Wine & food calendar: from “Grandi Langhe” to “Anteprima Amarone” new dates wanted

January and February events postponed: “Anteprima di Toscana” in doubt, official rescheduling of trade fairs (from Sigep to Fieragricola)
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Moments from Chianti Lovers, Preview of the great territory of Tuscany

It was supposed to be the year of the return to normality, and we hope that it will be, but the first days of 2022 present everyone with the same problems and the same dynamics as a year ago, albeit with decidedly brighter prospects. The pandemic continues to attack, with numbers never seen before, “normalized” by the beneficial effect of vaccines, which are making the new wave of Covids sustainable, suggesting yet another rethink of the calendar of major wine & food events, to ensure not only safety, but also participation, from Italy and abroad.
Starting with the “Anteprime del vino”, a fundamental moment for getting to know and promote on the markets the latest vintages of Italy’s great denominations, according to well-established rumors, intercepted by WineNews, “Grandi Langhe”, the event organized by the Consorzio di Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Dogliani, in partnership with the Consorzio del Roero, scheduled for January 31 and February 1, is almost certain to be postponed. The most plausible and sensible option is to move the event between ProWein in Dusseldorf (March 27-29) and Vinitaly (April 10-13): much will depend on the availability of spaces in the Ogr - Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Turin, a splendid location chosen to present the new vintages of Barolo and Barbaresco. The new vintages will be unveiled to US wine professionals on March 15 and 16 in Los Angeles, with the “Barolo & Barbaresco World Opening”, which has so far been confirmed on the calendar. Just like the US stage of “Benvenuto Brunello”, which will be in New York, in the setting of the Altman Building, on February 23 and 24,
with a very exclusive business-to-business format based on the model of the one staged in November 2021 in Montalcino: there will be 50 producers in all, 23 of whom will be present, with entrance limited to 80 sector professionals per session (for two sessions a day), who will be served at the table, in maximum security.

According to WineNews rumors, the same fate as “Grandi Langhe” will be shared by “Anteprima Amarone 2017”, which the Consorzio di tutela dei Vini della Valpolicella had planned for February 4 and 5 (and where the physical presence of producers was already not foreseen). The official decision is expected next week, when the Board of Directors will meet and decide on the new dates.
In the next few days, however, probably by this weekend, it will be known whether the “Settimana delle Anteprime dei Vini della Toscana” (Week of the Tuscan Wine Previews) will be confirmed on the current dates, i.e. from February 12 to 18 February. According to the program, it should start on the evening of Saturday, February 12, in the “Salone dei Cinquecento” in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, with the great gala dinner with all the Consortia gathered together, followed by events in Florence and the various territories, with tastings and presentations of Chianti, Chianti Classico, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Nobile di Montepulciano and other Tuscan denominations. According to WineNews, Avito, the association that brings together all the wine consortia in the Grand Duchy, and the Region of Tuscany have met in recent hours and have decided to give themselves a few more days to evaluate what to do and find the most intelligent solution in a complicated situation. The common will of all would be to give life to the event, but several aspects linked to the contingent and ever-changing situation are being evaluated. Keeping the week on the dates currently planned would inevitably mean having a poorly attended event, with a reduced presence of international press compared to expectations and the number of participants so far (more or less with the formula seen in May 2021, with selected press by invitation only and limited places available for operators by reservation) due to the limitations imposed by the growing number of contagions not only in Italy, but also throughout Europe and the United States, with an investment by the Consortia themselves and the Region that would, in any case, be as important as, and perhaps even more so than, the canonical previews, for an event that would be less than expected. The hypothesis that seems to be gaining ground is therefore that of a postponement to May, just as happened a year ago, even though, since this is a 6-day event held in several locations, postponing it is not so simple. This would overcome the impasse of a particularly busy calendar, which cannot ignore the major international fairs (i.e. ProWein, in Dusseldorf, scheduled for March 27-29, and Vinitaly, in Verona, scheduled for April 10-13), but the availability of some spaces on dates other than those currently scheduled is still to be verified. In any case, an official decision will be taken in the next few days, although the logic and sentiment gathered suggest important changes compared to what has been planned so far.
On the trade fair front, the last two appointments to be postponed, in order of time, are Sigep (International Exhibition of Ice Cream, Confectionery, Artisan Bakery and Coffee), scheduled for January and staged at the Fiera di Rimini Exhibition Centre from March 12th to 16th, and the International Tourism Exchange, an important opportunity for the world of wine to compare notes on wine tourism and future travel trends, also scheduled for January and rescheduled at Fiera Milano City from April 10th to 12th.
VeronaFiere, on the other hand, decided to postpone Fieragricola, edition no. 115, initially scheduled for January 26-29 and rescheduled from March 2-5, 2022. There is no question of Vinitaly 2022, confirmed in Verona on April 10-13, while rumors see a strong risk in the realization of Vinexpo Wine Paris, currently scheduled from February 14-16 in Paris, while ProWein in Dusseldorf (March 27-29) seems to be safe from possible shifts, when the peak of the fourth wave, according to experts envisaged between late January and early February, should be reasonably far away.
It should be underlined that, in the case of VeronaFiere (which will also move forward Progetto Fuoco, initially scheduled between February 26 and 29), the decision to postpone some events, in particular, those of a “business to business” nature, i.e. dedicated to business, is due to the desire to “guarantee the international quality of events”, given that events of a more “national” nature and more aimed at consumers, such as “Moto Bike Expo”, will be regularly staged “with current rules and protocols and in compliance with them, from January 13 to 16”. This decision was taken “in agreement with the production chains and in line with the choices also adopted by the other main European exhibition organizers in view of the increase in contagions at global level”, explains a note by VeronaFiere, which adds: “the variations in the VeronaFiere winter calendar have been shared with category associations and exhibitors and concern business-to-business events at international level. The objective of the postponements, in fact, is to guarantee an adequate presence from abroad of companies and specialized operators that today would otherwise be unable to participate due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic situation. Thanks to prevention protocols validated by the Cts and continuously updated and in compliance with the provisions of the “Protocol Covid 19” of the trade association Aefi (Association of Italian Exhibitions and Fairs), VeronaFiere has resumed its activities in the presence and maximum safety as from June 2021, with the special edition of “Moto Bike Expo”. The only way to get into the fairgrounds is with a super green pass: a system that has proved its worth at consumer shows with a large audience, such as the last Fieracavalli”.
Veronafiere has also recently taken the same path as Bologna Fiere for “Marca”, the exhibition dedicated to distributor brands, scheduled for January 19 and 20. New dates will soon be announced, according to a note issued by BolognaFiere, but the decision, in this case too, was made with the aim of ensuring attendance by Italian and international buyers in line with the event’s standards, and was taken in agreement with Adm - Associazione Distribuzione Moderna, “also after extensive discussion with exhibitors and operators, deemed it appropriate to postpone the leading national event for the Mdd sector to spring. The more than 900 companies that have signed up for this event (edition no. 18) will, in this way, be able to count on a context in which, following the rapid progress of the vaccination campaigns, the current situation of uncertainty will be overcome and international connections will also be re-established”.
After all, this is the trend being followed by all the most important Italian exhibition players, as explained by Maurizio Danese, president of Aefi - Association of Italian Exhibitions and Fairs (and VeronaFiere): “As Aefi, we met yesterday with the Board of Directors and took stock of the situation. It emerged that, in a responsible manner in view of the situation, a little of all exhibitions are moving events scheduled in January and partly also in February to the following months. Our trade fairs, however, are held in conditions of maximum security”, explained President Danese, according to whom “there has been no particular difficulty in moving the trade fair events to the following months, there has been no problem of overlapping with other events. There may be difficulties for exhibitors who may not be interested in participating in an event in the following months, when the product market has already been set up”, concludes Danese.

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