On the 20th of November—for the 14th year in a row—Vinitaly International returned to Moscow with Vinitaly Russia, gathering Italian producers and Russian importers in the exclusive location of the Lotte Hotel. On the following day in St. Petersburg, an exclusive dinner was organised with the help of 3 of the Vinitaly International Academy Italian Wine Ambassadors based in Russia with the aim of connecting Italian wine producers with Russian buyers, importers, and VIPs.
This B2B event was a positive sign of recovery in a country still divided, on the one hand, by an exponentially growing wine culture, and on the other, by an on-going but slowly improving economic crisis. This favorable trend was confirmed by the presence of Italian wineries gathered at Vinitaly Russia’s traditional Walk Around Tasting organized in collaboration with some of Russia’s top Italian wine importers and with event-partners Simple Wine News, Russian Cavist Association, Riedel, Norda, the Italian Embassy in Moscow and the Italian Trade Agency.
The Italian Wine Ambassadors from Russia, certified by VIA, were the protagonists in explaining the quality and range of Italian wines to Russian trade professionals working in the sector. On November 20th, Veronica Denisova, Nikolay Chashchinov, Vladislav Markin each held exclusive master classes dedicated to the diversity of Italian wine. Nikolay Chashchinov, one of the first Italian Wine Ambassadors certified by VIA in April 2015, highlights how being an Italian Wine Ambassador has helped pave his way through the world of wine: “VIA, with its high level of education, has helped me discover new dimensions of Italian wines in terms of their diversity. This has helped me expand our company’s product portfolio. Moreover, being an Italian Wine Ambassador gave me profound credibility as a wine educator as I now regularly provide lectures in our sommelier school.” The Vinitaly Russia VIA Exclusive Master Classes that were held were:
– “VIA – Lovely bubbly, the great diversity of Italian sparkling wine”
by VIA Italian Wine Ambassador Nikolay Chashchinov
- “VIA – Sicily in White”
by VIA Italian Wine Ambassador Vladislav Markin
“VIA Nebbiolo, Barolo and Barbaresco and so much more”
by VIA Italian Wine Ambassador Veronica Denisova
Maurizio Danese, President Veronafiere confirms, “Vinitaly has been in the Russia even in the very worst moments for the Russian market, in 2014-2015 years. Since 2016 the market has been growing and we see new perspectives. The Russian market is particularly interesting and in great expansion, as it has 180 million of potential consumers, and nowadays is the 6th biggest market for Italian export”.
Italian Wineries were happy to be there, “We are here thanks to Vinitaly International and we hope to enter the great Russian wine market” Mimmo Consiglio, Costanza Ignazio Winery in Sicily confirms.
On November 21st, Vinitaly International organised for the first time an exclusive networking dinner at the prestigious restaurant Probka na Dobrolyubova (www.probka.org) in St. Petersburg, where 8 Italian wine producers that participated in Vinitaly Russia presented their wines with the support and expertise of VIA’s Italian Wine Ambassadors who introduced the wines to Russian importers. This dinner was a new attempt and an exclusive opportunity to bridge the gap between producers and importers and bring them closer in their common aim to understand fully and thoroughly the Italian wines’ potential for the Russian markets. The Italian Wine Ambassadors from Russia were Shezhana Revchuk, Anna Baranova and Nikolay Chashchinov, accompanied by the presence of Leonardo Bencini from the Consulate General of Italy in St.Petersburg, Andrey Kuzmin, General Director Marine Express, Sergey Lebedev, Training Director at Simple St. Petersburg, Dmitry Zhurkin, Import Director Ladoga and Evgeny Agapov from Wine School Sommelier and company Palais Royale and many other important figures from the Russia wine scene. Anna Baranova, VIA certified Italian Wine Ambassador confirms, “In St.Petersburg, Italian wine is the most popular and fashionable category now. With the growing wine scene, the market is ready for the diversity of Italian wine and the native grapes”.
“It’s the first time in a long time we’ve been in St.Petersburg and I was so surprised by the overwhelming enthusiasm from the participants of the evening”, states Stevie Kim, Managing Director at Vinitaly International and the Founder of Vinitaly International Academy. “But mostly and more importantly, the dedication and commitment of the Italian Wine Ambassadors in Russia. The following day I had a quick visit to check out the local Italian wine scene, and from what I saw it seems very promising. So we hope to return to St. Petersburg very soon.”
Roberta Cargnel, Marketing-Export Assistant for Azienda Cantarutti Alfieri who participated confirms “This new format has a great potential, we were pleasantly surprised and delighted that we joined Vinitaly International in St. Petersburg. Sitting together at the same table—face to face—enabled producers, importers, buyers and sommeliers to break conventional barriers simply enjoying a meal together and discussing wine in a convivial and intimate way. A great way to plant the seeds for future business.”
The 8 wineries present were:
1. La Marca Vini e Spumanti (Veneto)
2. Wine Tasting Piemonte (Piedmont)
3. Az. Agricola Ribote (Piedmont)
4. Azienda Tor De Falchi (Apulia)
5. Azienda Costanza Ignazio (Sicily)
6. Azienda Paolo Ruffino (Liguria)
7. Azienda Cantarutti (Friuli Venezia Giulia)
8. Cantina di La-vis (Trentino Alto-Adige)
In addition to these events, Vinitaly International is also one of the sponsors for the Bazaar Italiano, a charity event organised by the Italian Embassy of Moscow scheduled on November 25th and 26th that will benefit scientific research on children with tumors at the Rogachev Clinic in Moscow. Vinitaly International donated more than 200 bottles of Italian wine.
The grand Vinitaly 2018 will be held from April 15th to the 18th next year. Every year, Vinitaly counts more than 4,000 exhibitors on a 100,000+ square meter area and 130,000 visitors from over 140 different countries with more than 30,000 top international buyers. The premier event to Vinitaly, OperaWine (www.operawine.it) “Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers,” which will be held on the 14th of April, one day prior to Vinitaly will unite international wine professionals in the heart of Verona, offering them the unique opportunity to discover and taste the wines of the 100 Best Italian Producers, as selected by Wine Spectator. Since 1998 Vinitaly International travels to several countries such as Russia, China, USA and Hong Kong thanks to its strategic arm abroad, Vinitaly International. In February 2014 Vinitaly International launched an educational project, the Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) with the aim of divulging and broadcasting the excellence and diversity of Italian wine around the globe. VIA this year launched the third edition of its Certification Course and today counts 127 Italian Wine Ambassadors and 8 Italian Wine Experts.