Wine is part of Italian history as much as food, fashion and design. On the occasion of the countdown for one of the most important wine fair in Europe, Vinitaly (Verona area, March 25th-28th), Swide finds out how the Italian wine market goes and why it is so important for Italy.
Ernest Hemingway once said that wine is one of the greatest evidences of civilization. And Italy couldn’t agree more, since our wine production recounts this country’s history and tradition just as well as food (or fashion, or design…) does.
In Italy, the wine-growing and wine-producing firms are at a current total of 383, 645, which amount to a 23,5% of the whole agriculture firms in Italy.
According to the statistics of Coldiretti, the first Environment and Agriculture Union in Italy and among the first ones in Europe, the Italian wine market has registered a +14% turnover compared to 2010 during the first nine months of 2011. A historical record for the Italian wine exports throughout the world, amounting to the sum off, according to estimates, more than four billion euros turnover, making Italy the worldwide leader in wine exports in terms of volumes (France is first in terms of revenues, Italy is second) that represent the 22% of the whole worldwide wine market. It also means that the wine is the most important element in the Italian agro-dietary export sector.
The forecast for the grape harvest this year is one of wines of great quality, with over 60% of the output (production) designated to one of the 517 Docg and Igt wines recognized in Italy. Docg stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, a certification that appears on the wine label and states the specific geographical position of a high-quality wine-producing area and/or the kind of wine produced there (like “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano”); Igt stands for Indicazione Geografica Tipica and it’s a certification designed to identify broader areas in which some wines are produced. The IGT cannot use the same names used for Docg wines.
Italy – with an estimate of 40,3 million hectoliters produced in 2011 – loses the supremacy over France, that now detains the worldwide supremacy of wine production thanks to the fast grow within a year (+11% compared with 2010) with 50,2 milion hectoliters produced.
Wine is therefore not only a big component of our lifestyle but also a big chunk of our economy and strength, which we can’t and don’t want to lose. That is why Vinitaly, this year in its 46 edition, was born. Today, it is a chance to literally have a taste of the Italian wine world concentrated in an area with more than 4,000 exhibitors that represent each Region of Italy, together with other initiatives that also involve the wine world worldwide. The Fair includes many wine tasting opportunities in order to get to know the best on the Italian market better, of course, but it also has a commercial side to it thanks to the involvement of buyers and professionals from all over the world.
There are slight new additions to this edition, starting with the fact that you’ll have 4 days instead of the usual 5 to enjoy it. There will also be the first focus review on biological and biodynamic wines, ViViT – Vigne, Vignaioli, Terroir (Vineyards, wine-makers and terroir), a wine tasting of all the wines – 375! - awarded in 2012 by Gambero Rosso with the Tre Bicchieri Award (the most prestigious wine award this renowned gastronomic publisher and association give); don’t miss also the tasting ex…press, with wine tasting that’ll take your tastebuds abroad between Argentina, Australia and much more (please find all the details on http://www.vinitaly.it/areaVisitatori/degustazioni/). And since you are already in Verona territory, why not exploring the city center after a day spent at Vinitaly and attending all the events organized for the occasion at the historical and beautiful Palazzo della Gran Guardia?
Be also aware that attending one edition of Vinitaly is a ‘sweet curse’: just like when tasting a great wine, you would want to have one glass more, you’ll want to come back over and over again to Italy, and to Vinitaly.
Vinitaly, Salone Internazionale del vino e dei distillati
Verona, Veronafiere (V.le del Lavoro, 8)
March 25/28, 2012
Written by: Elisa della Barba
To know more about Planeta, one of the protagonists of Vinitaly, click here: