What makes a wine fair a success? Not too many of us wine lovers ever spent a thought thinking on how our wine-habit was well-provided for. The recent Vinitaly wine fair in Verona was an exceptional gathering both for final consumers and operators alike.
The premise is already the correct answer: what differentiates Vinitaly from all other wine fairs, especially from its bigger competitor Vinexpo (Bordeaux) is its 360° involvement both with operators and final consumers alike. The festive atmosphere of Vinitaly is definitely a strong point of impact that delineates the way Italians understand wine opposite to what other countries might think: it is foremost about social gatherings and conviviality.
The remarkable success of Vinitaly is due to exporting the concept of "conviviality" abroad: Vinitaly China, India, Russia, Japan, US.... How to drink wine Italian style lesson 101. Students: emerging countries.
Globalization has instructed a new way of doing business and for the food industry this meant presenting a larger reality than small producers keeping its core Italian values in mind. Making strong alliances with other products such as Oil, Distilled alcohol, Pasta, and Wine Production Technology. There is nothing Vinitaly has not taken into consideration to market itself as a strong reference point in the industry.
In fact Vinitaly is not solely a wine fair: it is a must appointment. International wine competitions, Packaging competitions, a private Buyer's Club, Taste and Dream, social events in Verona such as the Wine Bar for young people involving the consumption of wine mixed with shows and events, there are answers to all needs. Its catalogue of DOC is well-respected if not the first one to be created in history.
If wine was "invented" in the Balkans, it is no secret that Italians have a special predilection for it. With France, Italy is one of the major wine exporters in the world. Vinitaly's added value has been to share globally this passion with countries that didn't at first have it in their culture. Russia's wine consumption has increased by 70% in a decade.
As it says in their website wine is "another love story in Verona". Logistically and historically Verona's presentation is the perfect playground for a wine affair.
Since the end of the 60s, following a series of conferences, Verona became Siena's successor as Italy's number one wine fair, taking on the name Vinitaly in 1971. Since then, the different initiatives it implemented both in Verona and abroad just englobed the wine industry as a whole going from consumer to producer, to buyer, to restaurant. No one ever felt left out or not effectively interested by the event. A place in which to study, understand, nurture and expand the culture of wine making and wine tasting.
Text by Acelya Yonac
A special thanks to Gianluca Ginelli for his thesis "Il Mercato Fieristico: il Caso Vinitaly" 2006-2007. Università degli Studi di Verona.