Shanghai Wine & Dine Festival: Vinitaly paves the way for Veronafiere’s strategic plan for promoting made in italy in China
Italian wine and foods are in the limelight as of today until 24 September in the Italian Pavilion, organised for the third consecutive year by Vinitaly International, at the Shanghai Wine & Dine Festival. Some of the leading agro-food brands are taking part, the main wine importers and the best Italian restaurants in Shanghai to present the excellence of Italian food and wine production to more than 100,000 expected visitors.
“Taking part in the most important b2c trade event in the country concludes a particularly intense month for Veronafiere as regards promoting wine in what is set to become the most important Asian market for Italian wines,” said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO & Director General of Veronafiere SpA. The key initiatives of this long mission include the first Vinitaly International Academy certification courses in Beijing and Shanghai focusing on the creation of a network of expert Italian wine ambassadors. These,” Mantovani added, “are just some of the activities involved in the far-reaching strategic promotion project we are implementing for Made in Italy in China in collaboration with the Ministry for Economic Development (Mise) and ICE-Trade Agency, which will culminate by the end of the year with a series of agreements even in sectors other than wine.”
China is the second world wine importer behind the USA but still has a very low per capita consumption; moreover, the market is also concentrated in big cities. This means that growth potential is still enormous, as import trends over the last few years clearly demonstrate. Among competitors on this market, Italy lags way behind France and Australia, and even behind Chile and Spain. This year’s good performance (+29% in terms of both value and quantity in the first 7 months) at last suggests an improvement in rankings by overtaking Spain if this country’s downturn in 2017 is confirmed. In 2016, imports from Italy totalled nearly 324,000 hectolitres, up by about 12% in quantity over 2015 and almost 33% in value for a total of more than 120 million euros.
Wine & Dine Festival. For the third time, Vinitaly International has taken charge of the Italian Pavilion.
The impressive calendar of events involves important names in the food and wine sector (Illy Caffè, Granarolo, Fabbri, Cantine Mezzacorona and Bonacchi) and major importers operating all over China (Sinodrink, Interprocom Cantine Divine, Miash, Roque, Hangshou Vitae, Kingdo and Yitang).
Events also include the Panel of Vinehoo journalists, Penguin Guide, Lookvin and Wine Times organised in collaboration with ICE-Shanghai, combining wine and music; everyday consumption of wine is highlighted by a dedicated appointment pairing Chinese Street Food with Italian wines. The Mid-Autumn Festival, the second in importance after the Chinese New Year, welcomes the pairing of seven wines proposed by seven importers with Moon Cake, the dessert traditionally consumed on this special occasion.
The Sparkling Wine Festival has by now become an established tradition and this year includes two appointments, one dedicated to sparkling white wines and the other red wines.
VIA Certification Courses make their debut in China. Veronafiere’s strategy also includes the initial Vinitaly International Academy Certified Courses. The second one, which began on 17 September, ended yesterday in Shanghai; while the first was held in Beijing 11-14 September. After four days of training, with five tastings involving more than 50 wines supplied by 16 importers based all over China, only 15 people in all earned qualification as a VIA Italian Wine Ambassador out of 66 candidates taking part from China, as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.
The intention of the Vinitaly International Academy is to create a network of experts capable of explaining and promoting the special features of Italian wine in their respective professional activities and home countries. There are now 29 VIA Italian Wine Ambassadors in China and two Italian Wine Experts, all professionals with leading importers, fine wine sales, the HORECA sector and oenological training. They include two Masters of Wine and the only Master of Sommelier in the country.