Allegrini 2018

Wine of Tuscany: 1 billion euros the value to the production, a “beautiful and good widespread”

High export propensity and great reputation on the web: the atouts of PrimAnteprima and BuyWine, which opened the Settimana della Anteprime

A good and a beautiful spread, that from the many territories that make up the mosaic of Tuscan wine continues to conquer the world, in the glasses and in communication, and that generates a very important economic value: 743 million euros “ex fabrica” with PDO wines alone, plus 183 million with PGI, for a total of 926 million euros, or, according to data Ismea, 11% of the national total, estimated at 8.3 billion euros.
An excellent result, the result of the work of many wineries and producers, “but we can improve even further - said the Tuscany Region Councilor for Agriculture, Marco Remaschi, in the debut of PrimAnteprima in Florence, the event signed by Regione Toscana and PromoFirenze, which marks the start of the Settimana delle Anteprime di Toscana - and also for this announcement that we will make available to our companies new funds for the promotion thanks to announcements such us PSR and PIF. As I communicate that, from next year, we will do everything possible to grow, in size, BuyWine, because none of the producers of Tuscany remain out of this opportunity. And we must increasingly combine wine with food from Tuscany, and for this we are thinking of an ad hoc initiative, to be put on the agenda around the end of May“.
On the other hand, as underlined by the data told by Tiziana Sarnari, researcher of Ismea, in the conference led by sommelier-journalist Andrea Gori, “the identity card of Tuscan winemaking is based on a texture of more than 23,000 companies, mainly small and medium-small. More than two-thirds of Tuscan wineries are located in areas destined for PDO production, where there are more than 92% of the almost 60,000 hectares of regional vineyards (the national average is 62%).
Even during the vinification phase, there is a production structure based on a large number of small businesses to which 27% of total production belongs, while the remaining part is the quantity of just 6% of companies that each produce more than 1,000 hectolitres of wine. The productive tissue is composed of 17 social cellars operating in the territory that produce 18% of the regional wine. This is a rather low figure if we consider that in Italy more than half of the total production of wine is under the control of cooperatives”.
A healthy wine system, but that, despite the appeal of Tuscany as a well-established brand in the world, cannot rest on the laurels. Not only because “it is important to sell, but also to do it at a fair price,” Remaschi recalled, “but also because if things hold in value, with some setbacks in quantity, in exports, we there will be some signs of fatigue, which should not arouse alarm but should not even be underestimated,” reiterated Tiziana Sarnari.
The Ismea study, carried out on behalf of the Region of Tuscany, shows that 800,000 hectolitres of Denomination wines are available on international markets, in a relationship that has so far been quite stable between non-EU countries (57%) and EU countries (43%). This is also thanks to the CMO promotion campaigns aimed at supporting markets in non-EU countries. In fact, with a budget of almost 11.5 million euros of European funds for 2018/19, it was possible to support the funding of 38 promotion projects. The United States and Germany confirm, albeit with some negative notes, the main destinations for the PDO market, representing 50% both in volume and value terms. The role of the Far East is growing, starting with China. Good performance also from Russia and Eastern countries such as the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Poland. The export trend to Brazil, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand was positive, with regional production reaching a total of 2.4 million hectolitres in 2018 (+44% compared to 2017), and quality compared to quantity was rewarded. On the other hand, the domestic market has been growing in the last 3 years, and in particular in 2018, especially in the large-scale retail sector. In the social era, the performance of the wine on the market is also reflected online. According to the study by Fondazione Sistema Toscana and Travel Appeal, illustrated by founder and CEO Mirko Lolli, based on almost 42,000 contents topics including posts, reviews (the top source is TripAdvisor) and websites (No. 1 is WineNews), which shows that the articles that deal with Tuscan wines grow at a very fast rate, +57% in the last year. Growth rates are also interesting for the single denominations, including Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg (+1.200%), Chianti Classico Docg (+471%), IGP Toscano (+275%) and Orcia Doc (+241%).

The overall satisfaction (sentiment) of the users is very high, equal to 95.5%. Rosso di Montalcino wins the challenge of its favorite wines with a percentage of 97.1%, while among the 10 most cited brands online the podium is won by Chianti Docg (27% quotations), followed by Brunello di Montalcino Docg (13%) and Bolgheri doc (9%).
Tuscany is certainly a land of wines and territories, as the 52 PDOs (11 DOCG and 41 DOC) that represent the mosaic of the Granducato denominations tell us. And if there are examples such as Chianti and Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Bolgheri, or Morellino di Scansano, which despite their differences are established brands in Italy and around the world, there are many others that try to emerge and tell their stories and features.
Like Carmignano, Colline Lucchesi, Maremma Toscana, Montecarlo, Montecucco, Orcia, Pitigliano and Sovana, Terre di Pisa, Val di Cornia and Valdarno di Sopra, today protagonists of PrimaAnteprima, for a productive fabric made up of many small producers, who try to reach the world markets, also through Buy Wine, the B2b event that, at the edition n. 6, brings together wineries and buyers from around the world, this year from 44 different countries, not only from large markets such as the USA, Germany, China and so on but also from small but promising niches such as Macao to the Philippines, from Malaysia to Albania.
Moreover, there is no lack of interesting suggestions, for many countries, in fact, wine is an exotic product and the label is the first and decisive business card. In this sense, China is one of the most complex markets to be convinced, and the color on the label, especially red, is considered good omen. The images of animals such as horses, dragon and other symbolic elements are also appreciated. Transliteration of the proper names of wine or denomination can be a double-edged sword in the eastern market. Producers often aim for a translation into ideograms that recalls the sound of Italian words, risking to run into symbols with a negative value.

Surprisingly, compared to our more classic standards, some markets love screw caps, like the Australian one. In Canada, on the other hand, there are state monopolies for spirits and a government-regulated access mechanism through annual calls for tenders. To approach Japan and Southeast Asia, however, it may be useful to work more on the story of the characteristics of taste, because the acidity of Sangiovese, the basis of most of the Tuscan production, can create some difficulties in terms of food pairing, since the oriental cuisine has a high level of acidity.

However, in addition to this, BuyWine confirms a model that works: according to a report by the University of Pisa, 52% of the wineries that participated said they had increased the average annual sales volume thanks to this event. As far as exports are concerned, almost half of the sample said they had increased their volume from 10% to 25%. Thanks to BuyWine, about 57% of the producers surveyed said they had the opportunity to enter markets such as Canada, Russia, Holland, Denmark, Singapore, China, Sweden, Brazil, and Finland. A very important factor concerns the prices recorded thanks to the correspondence in the meetings: 45% of those interviewed stated that they had received offers to buy from buyers at lower average prices, while 38% observed an increase in prices of no more than 10%. Finally, 35% of respondents said they had developed more stable business relationships. Tuscany, as in the Renaissance, is considered as one of the centers of wine world trade. “International visitors come to us to taste the great Italian wines, while Italian customers come to taste the best wines in the world,” said the “testimonial” of the week of the Anteprime di Toscana, Annie Feolde, for over 40 years at the head, with Giorgio Pinchiorri, Enoteca Pinchiorri, three Michelin stars and “temple” of good drinking and great Italian cuisine, the main destination for gourmands around the world.

Now, after BuyWine and PrimAnteprima, it’s time for the previews of the most important territories:
Chianti Lovers, edited by the Consorzio Vino Chianti, together with the Consorzio del Morellino di Scansano (10 February, Florence), Chianti Classico Collection (11-12, Florence), Anteprima Vernaccia di San Gimignano (10 and 13 February, San Gimignano), Anteprima Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (9-11 February, Montepulciano), Benvenuto Brunello 2019 (15 and 16 February, Montalcino).

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