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Inauguration of the 53th Vinitaly, the international brand for the promotion of italian wine worldwide

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« Vinitaly is a fantastic celebration of the quality and biodiversity of Italy’s cultural and wine-making heritage. This is highlighted by the fact that Italy has more than 600 geographical indications, the highest number in Europe. The European Union’s task is to protect them. » This was how the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, acknowledged the value of Vinitaly as a tool for divulging and promoting Italian wine in his speech yesterday during the inauguration ceremony of the 53rd edition of Vinitaly, following the focus report by Denis Pantini, head of the Nomisma Wine Monitor, discussing figures and trends on the Italian market and the talk show « The Future of Wine, the Vinitaly of the Future » moderated by Bruno Vespa involving Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere, Carlo Ferro, President of ICE, Angelo Gaja, owner of the wine-cellar of the same name, Matilde Poggi, of wine-maker Le Fraghe, and Riccardo Cotarella, wine producer and World President of Oenologists.

« The European Union exports wine worth more than 20 billion euros, out of which over 6 billion euros by Italy, » Hogan went on. “I am convinced that wine-growers will be even more successful in coming years. The European Union is working to build business relationships all over the world and economic diplomacy is achieving excellent results, from Asia to new emerging markets such as Australia. »

« Once again this year Vinitaly ensures a warm welcome to the business world, thanks to a net show area of more than 100,000 square metres and 4,600 exhibitors. International buyers are attending from 143 countries, » said the President of Veronafiere, Maurizio Danese. “In the wake of the conversion of Veronafiere into a joint-stock company, we have massively boosted our efforts to make Vinitaly the centre of a collective promotional structure that speaks to international buyers as a unified voice for Italian wine excellence. We are a private sector company but we make our resources and know-how available for system operations and do so because we are convinced that this is the right way to maintain and expand the extraordinary results achieved by Italian wine-growers over the last twenty years. »

These results are the outcome, as the President of the Senate, Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, said « of the event’s impressive capacity for synergy with national and local institutions, alongside virtuous and intelligent diversification between professional operators and enthusiasts in the city, not to mention great skills in winning new markets at the same time as the hearts of visitors. Such activities,” she emphasised, « do not end with the end of the trade fair but continue throughout the year in five continents. »

Vinitaly also expresses its major role as a driving force for the economy and the development of Verona itself. This was highlighted by the Mayor of Verona, Federico Sboarina, who announced a major plan for the « regeneration of the entire area surrounding the exhibition centre, where we are recovering an area one million square metres, with investments to enhance the city’s appeal and international calibre for tourism and business alike ».

As regards infrastructures, the Minister for the Interior, Matteo Salvini, announced clearance for the High-Speed rail project on the Brescia-Verona-Vicenza-Padua line. « Wine, like people, has to move and if it does not move at high speed, it will be left in the cellar, » said Salvini, confirming the Government’s attention to small-medium enterprises, which represent 94% of Italy’s economic and entrepreneurial fabric, as well as promising specific support measures.
The President of the Province of Verona, Manuel Scalzotto, also expressed the same opinion, acknowledging that « wine is an integral part of Verona’s economy and local territory ».

Another mission announced by the Government concerns the streamlining of bureaucracy, as assured by the Minister for Agricultural Policies, Gian Marco Centinaio. « Our objective as a Ministry is to promote the Vinitaly brand. It is one of the best-known throughout the world and helps us communicate the value of our wine-growing territories and the expression of 523 different identities between PDO and PGI wines. »

With reference to the European Union and the Common Agricultural Policy in particular, the Minister declared his satisfaction in having maintained « the funding linked to the Common Market Organisation (CMO) for wine, an aspect which on the eve of Vinitaly was far from certain but which now assigns the largest financial resources to Italy ».

On stage at the 53rd edition of Vinitaly, Minister Centinaio reassured producers as regards the next regulatory provisions that will actually benefit the wine world: « We are working on the draft of a decree that protects heroic and historical vineyards and recognises the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene areas where Prosecco in made as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. »

This is a clear message in reply to the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, who had already raised the issue. « The strength of the event, » Zaia said, « also comes from the local territory. The Veneto attending this record-making Vinitaly is also a record in its own right. We are the leading producer in Italy with 16.5 million quintals of grapes and 13.5 million hectolitres, 1.6 billion euros of exports and 53 designations. The future of wine lies in eco-sustainability through environmental certification of the product, the vineyard and the entire production process. »

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