Set to kickoff in Verona from April 10th – 13th, Vinitaly 2016 will be a celebration of a return to the land and the vines. The 50th edition of Vinitaly will be presented by the region of Lombardy and the Italian newspaper La Stampa and will showcase this year’s impressive presence of wine producers from Lombardy and Piedmont. The importance of these producers and the future of Italian wine was explained by Gianni Fava, Agricultural Councilor for the region: “Lombardy has 3,173 wine-producing businesses [and] of these, about one in ten is has an owner under the age of forty.” This strong interest by young people to become part of the country’s heritage of wine production is the merit of older generations who were able to make this industry desirable for the newer generations.
This year’s edition will see an impressive number of young Italian wine producers, and the president of Veronafiere, Maurizio Danese, said he was quite proud of this as he announced the participation of the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, at the opening day of the event. He explained his joy in seeing so many young Italians interested in the industry: “Fifty years ago a returning interest in working with the land would have been unimaginable because most young people dreamed of owning a factory [in Italy], however today new generations see future prospects in working with vines.” From this point of view, Vinitaly 2016 more than ever serves as a network and meeting point available year round for all of the country’s wine producers, as always with the goal of increasing the export of Italian wines to international markets.
The millennial wine consumer will be getting their fair share of attention as well. These newer consumers place a greater importance on their perception of a particular wine and on the story of that wine. According to Michele Longo, journalist and editor of winecult.it, and Stevie Kim, managing director of Vinitaly International, these young consumers should not be overlooked. This new market accounts for about two billion wine drinkers around the world, with a bout 177 million in Europe and another 70 million in the USA. This year’s edition will also highlight the tools, such as e-commerce, available to these young wine producers to help grow their businesses and promote their products. The growing importance of Italian wine around the world will also be spotlighted by the presence of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Jack Ma, founder of Chinese giant of e-commerece Alibaba, who will both be attending the event on April 11th.
Also of great importance to this year’s edition will be the impressive number of wineries participating from the regions of Lombardy and Piedmont. Over 200 wineries and businesses from Lombardy and more than 450 from Piedmont will have stands at Vinitaly’s four-day 50th edition which promises a look into the depth of Italian wines and their bright future.