At an earlier news conference, Vinitaly International Managing Director Stevie Kim, Ettore Riello, President of VeronaFiere, site of Vinitaly 2014, and Giovanni Mantovani, CEO and Director General of VeronaFiere, discussed the evolution of the OperaWine event over the past several years, including the association with Altagamma, the Italian luxury brands and lifestyle coalition, which was launched at the Opera Wine news conference two years ago, and last year's introduction of the Vinitaly Wine club, now completing its first year of operation.
This year, Managing Director Kim introduced Mr. and Miss Vinitaly 2014, Andrea Amadel and Alessandra Scarci. "There's will be the face and image of Vinitaly to the world as we seek to make inroads in the 18-34 young adult market. They will serve as ambassadors of Italian wine to youth within Italy and around the world. Their faces will rejuvenate the face of Italian wine."
Kim, along with Veronafiere General Director Giovanni Mantovani, accounced the launch of Vini24.com, the wine club of the daily Italian business paper Il Sole 24 Ore. The new collaboration with Il Gruppo 24 Ore will allow Italian consumers to expand their knowledge of Italian wine, accessing an inital offering of 250 wines from all 20 regions of Italy, starting with the 100 Finest Italian Wines presented at OperaWine 2014.
Stevie Kim concluded the news conference with a reminder of the importance of social media in the wine trade, highlighting Vinitaly's international social channels-Facebook, You Tube, Instagram and the Chinese platform Welbio, and a re-vamped website that broadcast live-stream photos of Vinitaly.
Wine Spectator is the world's leading authority on wine, reaching more than 3 million readers worldwide. Wine Spectator is solely responsible for the choice of producers at the OperaWine event.
Opera Wine is the premiere event to Vinitaly 2014. It is a precursor to the type of quality presentations that would mark the next four days. According to Ettore Riello, President of Veronafiere, the event has confirmed its leadership as the main landmark for the international wine business, with a 6% increase in visitors for a total of 155,000 people over the 4 days of the event. Business and the quality of that business also increased, with the number of foreign buyers up to 56,000, representing 36% of the total.
Verona 2014 ended with a significant event. For the first time ever, an Italian Prime Minister visited Vintaly. Matteo Renzi traveled to Verona for the final day of the International Wine and Spirits Exhibition, which was held alongside the Sol and Agrifood Exhibition of Quality Agro-Foods and Enolitech, the Wine-Growing and Olive-Growing Technology Exhibition. In his address to the body, Prime Minister Renzi launched an initiative with the objective of a 50% increase in wine exports from Italy to the world by 2020. He also announced an 18-point simplification plan in support of agriculture in general and agricultural enterprises and young people. The plan involves outreach to youth through the internet and social media. The Prime Minister promised "a major investment undertaking"in these areas of growth over the next several years. The 49th edition of Vinitaly is scheduled at Veronafiere March 22-25, 2015.