There, I had decided as the first article in the Vinitaly 2018 to talk about rosé wines... and instead nada, I immediately felt the itch of controversy! Actually, I don't even want to be controversial, but to reflect together with you on the numbers of Vinitaly and especially on who attends itor who is behind these numbers. It seems to me very important to understand these numbers well, especially for the wineries that exhibit and spend big quid to be on an undoubtedly very important national and international showcase. And, secondly, for all those who attend it more or less professionally, spending hundreds of kilometres and selling their last kidney saved from alcoholism for a room in and around Verona.

In order to maintain professional standards, Vinitaly is open exclusively to specialised operators of legal age.

Vinitaly Admission Conditions

Perfect, the Vinitaly website speaks for itself! Admission is open exclusively to specialised operators over 18 years of age. What then does the word specialised operator mean?

In the narrow sense: One who is concretely involved in a particular area of operation, one who works there. In the 'broader' sense: One who carries out operations in the market, either as a buyer or seller of goods or services.

Courier Dictionary

Oh boy, is it operators also include all wine consumers in Italy! Aaaaah, that's why at 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon the Vinitaly staff went to collect glasses from the exhibiting wineries, leaving only two glasses 'for emergencies' to avoid storming! Storming? And so it was that a small, pretty girl with long black hair and rather pronounced rimmel explained to me: 'at 4.30 p.m. we open the gates and everyone gets in for free!" I was simply astounded! You can see that we have worked out how to round these extraordinary numbers up a bit! But is there really any need? Explain to me now what use it is for a winery that has paid thousands of euros to have thousands of drunks come in and vomit left and right and show you photos of renderings of imaginary premises, feigning any interest in your Passerina (from Abruzzo, what did you understand?) And you, dear winery, showing off two half-naked girls holding a man-sized sign saying "Do you want my Passerina?", what do you hope to gain from this Vinitaly? Ah, how I would love to have an answer!


But back to us! Since I am also an A.I.S. Sommelier, I want to do a little reflection on the entry of sommeliers who do not work in the wine world to an event such as Vinitaly. Of course, these are not specialised operators working in the world of wine. Maybe in life they are engineers, workers, photographers, office workers. We don't know that... but we do know that if they are sommeliers they are certainly wine enthusiasts and therefore buy wine. Ohibò, doesn't the winery go to Vinitaly to get publicity with the ultimate goal of selling wine? I mean, those who criticise the presence of sommeliers who do not work in the wine world because they are 'in the way' of those who are there to do business, be they professional sommeliers or wineries, say this because they have spat once less? But gentlemen, come on, that's colossal bullshit! It's not that all wineries are as famous as Berlucchi or Ca' del Bosco, at Vinitaly most of them are microscopic wineries, unknown to most, which are playing for a nice pair of aces for sales of the current vintage! Of course, Vinitaly alone is not enough... but if they draw another ace between events and communication... they have won the game! Let's then remember that (fortunately) we are in the age of e-commerce and more and more wineries have enhanced their sales channels by increasing it! To the delight of all wine merchants and representatives of course, but that's another matter! And I am absolutely in favour of e-commerce... of course it takes patience and work to get it off the ground... but sooner or later the results come and often they make all the difference! As long as you are not in a hurry, because on the web, haste is always and especially bad advice! In summary, Sommeliers who do not exercise their profession in the wine world certainly exercise their palate by buying wine and, in other words, are all potential customers of the wineries present. So bravo to Vinitaly for letting them in and giving them reduced admission! You know which of these numbers are the real problem? The numbers of boozers who are friends of friends of the cousins of the real operators who mistake Vinitaly for a surrogate country beer festival and start drinking in ribbons and then slump in and out of the pavilions in boxes that are embarrassing to say the least!

vinitaly 2018

Gentlemen, Vinitaly is not a fight between specialised operators working in the wine world without any title and non-professional sommeliers or passionate WineLovers! You have to put that in your head, you are in the same team, you simply play different roles, but you both serve to win the game! Your adversaries are the drunks who will never buy a bottle outside the discount store and if they ever do, they have the sole criterion of cost/demand/revenue, those should have their gates closed! Lastly, let us not forget that those who work in the wine world choose wine on the right cost/demand/revenue principle (you have to keep the business going!), unlike the wine enthusiast who may be able to spend and is happy to do so on a new, newly discovered bottle that has excited him. After all, the non-professional sommelier is also the customer of the professional sommelier in the restaurant, or the wine shop owner... no? So welcome to both figures at Vinitaly!

Vinitaly 2018, growing quality and number of buyers present. The 52nd edition closed with 128 thousand visitors from 143 nations. Foreign buyers accredited increased by 6% for 32 thousand attendances.

So, of the 96,000 Italian visitors, how many drunks were there at this edition? This is the only number that exhibiting companies should be interested in. Under no circumstances should the gates be opened at 4.30 p.m. on a Wednesday, triggering a stampede of exhibitors 'not even the Huns themselves'! For my part, having spoken to several wineries, I have heard both discontent and genuinely satisfied companies. For me, the mood is always the same: the higher the numbers, the better. As long as they are not boozers who only care about going out with a noteworthy alcohol content regardless of what they drink! Because in addition to the number you have to look at the conversions, and if they can't remember what these young men drank, what do you want to return to those who offered them their wine?

And have you been to Vinitaly? Are you a passionate sommelier or a professional sommelier? Are you an exhibiting winery or a wine seller? Leave me a comment here on the blog to let me know what you think!

See you soon with the next articles from Vinitaly 2018,


P.S. For the cover photo I thank Photos Ennevi-Veronafiere

P.P.S. For the photo No Limits - No Sommelier I thank my colleague Alberto Nagliati, with whom I often agree in his witty observations!

P.P.S. If you haven't already done so, don't you think it's time to buy my beautiful Guida Vini Spumanti Italiani and discover The best 500 Italian sparkling wines told in 360 full-colour pages? Click HERE and buy it now!

sparkling wine guide


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