Wanted: US ambassadors to expand Vinitaly International Academy community

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As Vinitaly USA, Chicago comes to a close today, Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) is getting ready to move ahead in its mission to strengthen Italian wine’s presence in it’s number one market, the US. The plan is to leverage education through the creation of new VIA Italian Wine Ambassadors and Experts.

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Vinitaly International Academy community of Italian Wine Ambassadors and Experts

The market is not as simple as it may seem, there are many Italian wines distributed in the US, some already consolidated, but we need to increase their visibility through the creation of more ambassadors and experts

As Vinitaly USA, Chicago comes to a close today, Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) is getting ready to move ahead in its mission to strengthen Italian wine’s presence in it’s number one market, the US. The plan is to leverage education through the creation of new VIA Italian Wine Ambassadors and Experts: from the 26th to the 28th of June the Academy will be present in New York on the occasion of Summer Fancy Food Show with a thematic wine bar, three Executive Wine Seminars and to collect applications from all those aspiring to become members of the rapidly growing Vinitaly International Academy community.

Despite the difficulties connected to a market that is highly regulated under the three tier system, Italian wine continues to gain market share in the United States, which remains today the world’s largest for total consumption: in the first six months of 2015, with exports up 27.5%, wine accounted for 5% of total products sold, rising 19% compared to the same period of the previous year ( Source: Il Sole 24 ore, 24 January 2016, http://www.italy24.ilsole24ore.com/art/business-and-economy/2016-01-14/-italian-wine-gains-ground-the-united-states--131428.php?uuid=ACiZ7w9B).

Back in December, Vinitaly International had ridden the wave of this positive trend introducing the US market as the main theme of the second edition of wine2wine, a two-day forum in Verona entirely dedicated to the business of wine and targeting Italian wine producers. During the plenary session Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area in the United States, offered the audience a panoramic state of the art view of the US emphasizing the role of Millenials as the new trendsetters and social media as their preferred communication tool.

“The market is not as simple as it may seem, there are many Italian wines distributed in the US, some already consolidated, but we need to increase their visibility through the creation of more ambassadors and experts” explains Stevie Kim, Managing Director of Vinitaly International and founder of VIA, an educational initiative aimed at explaining and divulging the great diversity of Italian wine in the world. “To date we have one Italian Wine Expert and 10 Italian Wine Ambassadors in USA. Every time we get to touch base with both wine professionals and wine lovers in the US, in addition to spreading the gospel about Italian wines, it is also a great opportunity for us to engage and recruit potential candidates for our Vinitaly International Academy”.

On the 28th, VIA will be holding a series of three Executive Wine Seminars at the Astor Center in New York: the first, a blind tasting, will allow participants to taste and learn, together with Dr. D’Agata, about the characteristics of a specific grape variety or area without being influenced in any manner while the other two EWSs will be presenting some of the winners of the new "5 Star Wine" International Wine Award launched back in April in the run-up to the 50th edition of Vinitaly. On April 1 in Verona, Vinitaly also held its first ever competition for “natural” wines headed by Alice Feiring who will be at hand in New York next week to conduct a special natural wine tasting at the Astor Center.

About:
Veronafiere is the leading organizer of trade shows in Italy including Vinitaly (http://www.vinitaly.com), the largest wine and spirits fair in the world. During its 50th edition Vinitaly counted more than 4,100 exhibitors on a 100,000+ square meter area and 130,000 visitors from 140 different countries. The next edition of the fair will take place on 9 - 12 April 2017. The premier event to Vinitaly, OperaWine (http://www.vinitalyinternational.com) “Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers,” will unite international wine professionals on April 8th 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 second edition of its Certification Course and today counts 54 Italian Wine Ambassadors and 3 Italian Wine Experts.

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Francesca de Stefani
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