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Vinitaly, most important italian wine expo, ready to open

Business is served. Vinitaly, now at its 43rd edition (2-6 April 2009, www.vinitaly.com), confirms its international leadership year after year thanks to its capacity to create a system of initiatives and events that over time have transformed the exhibition of wines and spirits from a simple showcase into a network of contacts between trade operators.
Inasmuch, competitions, tastings, internet services for B2B meetings, seminars focusing on consumers and new markets and the huge trade offering (which also includes spirits) have seen the Exhibition successfully combine business with product promotion and company training.
This range of services has made Vinitaly the top exhibition in the world with more than 4,200 exhibitors from 35 countries and 157 thousand specialist visitors, of which more than 43 thousand from 110 countries.
Ever-growing demand by exhibitors is met this year by larger and optimised facilities, thanks not the least to the complete renovation of Hall 1, now fitted with 2,000 square metres of solar panels, which will be inaugurated precisely during Vinitaly. Nevertheless, the waiting list is still very long. There are many new entries this year, with important attendance even on an international scale.
Every edition also sees Vinitaly strengthen its synergy with Sol, Agrifood, Grappa Tasting and Enolitech to extend the perspectives of the sector by offering wine and extra virgin olive oil together with quality gastronomy products, top-of-the-range spirits, cellar and olive oil technology and accessories for tasting and table service.
The offering of services is sustained by the network of VeronaFiere delegates in the most important countries world-wide; while the Vinitaly World Tour - by now operative for more than a decade - has become an effective tool in improving the internationalisation of companies and the Made in Italy agro-foods system.
The World We Love is the concept that summarises the mission of Vinitaly 2009: wine first of all, but also quality, territory, the environment and its protection, people and human challenges.

The challenge of business. In 2008, more than 57 thousand operators, 42% of whom international, received direct invitations to attend the Vinitaly exhibition, with positive feedback better than 42%. More than 20 thousand buyers took part, out of total international attendance of 43 thousand from 110 countries (an increase of 25% for international operators). An important role in contacts between exhibitors and buyers is also played by the network of VeronaFiere delegates in 35 countries; the on-line Buyers’ Club attracted 882 companies and generated - even before the start of the exhibition - more than 1,100 contacts by international visitors.
In 2008, international operators included 49% wholesalers, importers/exporters and agents, as well as 35% in consumer sales sectors (large-scale distribution, retailers, horeca, etc.).

Focus and analysis. “Wine Tribes” is the title of the VeronaFiere survey this year - the natural continuation of analysis presented in recent years highlighting "wine lovers". Such analysis is necessary because not everyone who drinks wine belongs to the 'wine lover tribe' - and understanding related consumption preferences is now more important than ever before in defining sales strategies.
Interesting analysis and considerations equally emerge from the presentation of the results of the two-year research project titled “Wine Future” focusing on the competitiveness of Italian wine-making companies, presented in collaboration with L'Informatore Agrario.
Such information projects involving the most interesting international markets promoted by Vinitaly in recent years continue with focus events in the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India and again this year in Singapore, where the Vinitaly World Tour was held in 2001, and Scandinavian countries.
Environmental topics include an important appointment with the fifth International Conference specialising in sustainable wine-growing titled ”Winery waste and ecological impact management”, organised by the University of Verona with the support of VeronaFiere.

Tastings and business. Launched successfully for the first time in 2007, Taste Italy is an invitation-only initiative targetnig international operators with guided tastings available at all times. Direct experience of wines and company profiles help buyers to make direct contacts with producers on their stands during the event.
Tasting Ex...press, on the other hand, offers the best production world-wide presented by leading international sector magazines, while producers themselves present their products to journalists and buyers through Taste and Dream, dedicated to vertical tasting of excellence.
Trendy Today, Big Tomorrow, lastly, presents wines by emerging companies - selected by Luca Maroni - making their names on the market not only through quality but also thanks to interesting and competitive quality/price ratios.
A special focus on Welcome Back Brunello! The 2004 vintage - a travel through a great vintage for an equally great wine coordinated by Gambero Rosso. As well as Twelve Immortal Italian White Wines for Ageing, a tasting coordinated by Civiltà del Bere.

Tasting and charity for 150 years of Gaja. “There is no better way to celebrate this anniversary than at Vinitaly” with a guided tasting by Jancis Robinson, the well-known British wine writer. So said Angelo Gaja who celebrates with this unique appointment scheduled 4 April 150 years of wine-making dedication by his family, going back to the foundation of the Cellar at Barbaresco in 1859. Participation in the tasting - which certainly ranks as one of the main events of the year all over the world - is on payment and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

Wine and gastronomy. As the meeting point between wine, food and extra-virgin olive oil, Vinitaly, Sol and Agrifood Club organise - in collaboration with internationally famous chefs - gastronomic workshops and tastings of dishes prepared usnig the finest ingredients in the best tradition of Italian cuisine alongside a selection of wines on show. The Great Restaurants of Vinitaly (Designer Restaurant, Signori Restaurant, Sol Goloso and Citadel of Gastronomy) complete the exhibition menu to satisfy the wine and food curiosity of even the most demanding visitors and VIP guests attending the event.

Italy of Vinitaly. This is the Vinitaly internet area dedicated to the regions in order to present - well ahead of the events themselves and for the entire following period - regional territories and related olive oil-wine produce, promotional activities and even initiatives organised on stands during Vinitaly.
This privileged showcase ensures a complete panorama of the multitude of distinctive features characterising Italian regions and their unique status in the world.

Space for wine lovers. Vinitaly For You - the eagerly-awaited collateral event for non-professional enthusiasts - has established its role in recent years as a well-defined occasion belonging to Vinitaly but “outside” the event dedicated to trade operators as such. In short, it is held in Palazzo della Gran Guardia, in the historic heart of Verona. Wine bar coordinated by the National Women of Wine Association.

International competitions and awards for protagonists in the sector in turn focus on promotion of quality and products. Vinitaly has always been characterised by its efforts and incentives to improve the quality of wines. This policy is equally achieved through the competitions held every year to reward excellence. They include the International Wine Competition (25-29 March 2009, www.vinitaly.com/concorsoenologico, the most selective in the world with only 3% of awards made out of a total of 3,500 wines entered on average), the International Packaging Competition (11 March 2009, www.vinitaly.com/concorsoenologico), set up to reward companies in their efforts to create effective image for their products through bottles, labels, corks and caps, and the Vinitaly International Award that every year acknowledges businessman or operators in the sector (media, sommeliers, winemakers etc.) particularly distinguished by their activities on behalf of the sector.
Thanks to its selectivity, the International Wine Competition by now ranks as a kind of quality mark for award winners, for whom Vinitaly is the ideal showcase and place for commercial agreements and specific promotions, such as those in Germany and Japan.

Vinitaly World Tour. A proven formula that combines attractive participation costs for companies with effective contacts: workshops, seminars, wine tastings and Gala wine&food evenings are the main initiatives proposed in the most important cities in China, Japan, the USA, India and Russia. The World Tour turns Vinitaly into a year-long event and the main vehicle for commercial and cultural promotion of wine-growing and the Made in Italy agro-foods system throughout the world.
Operators in these countries by now view Vinitaly as a quality brand ensuring the status of the wines presented. Next stop-offs: 9-11 February 2009 Vinitaly US Tour – Miami; June, Vinitaly Russia, October the second stage of Vinitaly US Tour, November Vinitaly China and Vinitaly Japan.

by S. C.
30 march 2009, World News > Italy

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