Taste Wine, Buy Wine …. In Tuscany

florence_rooftops.jpgThe Buy Wine fair in Florence just got over.This was the third edition of “Buy Tuscan Wine”, a fair that brought together 282 wine producers from all over Tuscany (an increase of 57% over the previous year) and 211 buyers (up 30% from last year) from around the world. The venue was the Fortezza da Basso in Florence. Reva K. Singh reports.

The buyers at the fair represented 36 countries with USA, China, Canada, Britain, Hong Kong, Brazil and Holland comprising 42% of the total. The objective of this annual event is to support and promote the wines of Tuscany, in particular those that are not so well known in international markets.
The first two days, February 14 and 15, were a well organized affair of one-on-one, B2B meetings at Fortezza da Basso, the exhibition venue. The next day we left on various tours of the region for a firsthand experience of the most interesting wineries, punctuated by anteprima tastings of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Chianti and Chianti Classico organized by the various Consortia. The international press were represented by members of FIJEV (Federation Internationale des Journalistes et Ecrivains des Vins et Spiriteux) and CWW or Circle of Wine Writers.
The name Tuscany conjures up images of rolling vineyards, olive groves and tall cypress trees, as well as strong associations with art and culture. Tuscany Taste aims to enhance Tuscany’s allure by focusing on its numerous wines with their long tradition of quality and authenticity. The symbol chosen to represent this is the butterfly, with hundreds and thousands of butterflies, fluttering their wings and carrying the message of Tuscany’s beautiful wines across the world.
Wine tourism is already well established in Tuscany and worth € 5 billion, with 87% of tourists coming form overseas. The region boasts of 65 wine resorts of which 50 may be described as luxury resorts while 15 are über luxury. Although well known around the world as a luxury wine destination, at present Tuscany fulfils just 20% of its potential and has aggressive plans to step it up.
Toscana Promozione’s investment this year in the Buy Wine programme, which includes agriturismo and oeno-tourism, is € 583,000 or 7.5% of the agency budget.
Tuscany comes third after Veneto and Piedmont with 15% of Italy’s wine exports, although the export of Tuscan wines is increasing year on year with the gap getting smaller. In the first nine months of last year its wine exports touched € 491 million, up by 6.8% compared with the same period the previous year.
The statistics below convey an idea of the current position of Tuscan wine in the market.
Business turnover
7% of wineries have an annual turnover of more than € 10 million
2% have an annual turnover of between € 2 to € 10 million, and
91% have an annual turnover of less than € 2 million
Turnover of exports as a percentage of the total turnover
43% of wineries export more than 50% of their turnover
31% export between 10 to 50% of their turnover
25% of the wineries export less tha 10% of their turnover
Main export markets
13% EU only
65% Europe and mainly America
19% Europe and mainly Asia
1% outside Europe only, mainly in America
2% outside Europe only, mainly in Asia
Annual production of wine in hectolitres
61% of wineries produce less than 1,000 hectolitres per year
32% produce between 1,000 and 10,000 hectolitres
7% wineries produce more than 10,000 hectolitres in a year
Position of wine in the market
63% top range
33% mid range
4% accessible to all

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