The Vinitaly-led sales mission
for Italian wine at the second edition of "Wine Vision by Open
Balkan", the most important wine fair in south-east Europe,
attracting more than 600 exhibitors from 28 countries, began on
The event, which runs until Sunday November 19, features the presence of 50 Italian wineries representing 12 regions: Abruzzo, Campania, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont, Puglia, Sicily, Tuscany, Trentino Alto Adige and Veneto (making up the lion's share of exhibitors with 21).
At the inauguration, Serbia President Aleksandar Vučić, thanked Vinitaly - 'the largest wine fair in the world' - for having accompanied 'leading Italian producers, among the most renowned internationally' to Belgrade.
Vinitaly, in collaboration with the ICE Trade Agency, leads the Italian delegation brought together in the Italy Area: more than 1,000 square meters of exhibition space welcoming professionals and opinion leaders in a sector keen to discover or learn more about Italy's impressive wine offering over four days. Master classes and tastings are also on the schedule, along with a programme of B2B meetings with importers and operators in order to make new contacts and assess strategies and sales opportunities.
Italian companies attending "Wine Vision by Open Balkan" will be able to meet selected buyers from 15 target markets: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Turkey.
"The continental block descending from the Baltic along the Balkans is one of the most promising for Italian wine in terms of consumption," explained Maurizio Danese, Managing Director of the Veronafiere centre, the owner and organizer of Vinitaly.
"Today, these countries are worth 320 million euros in terms of exports, with average annual growth rates between 2010 and 2022 in the order of 10%. The positive trend continued with another increase in the first seven months of this problematic 2023, with a further leap in value of almost 20%. This is why Veronafiere is keen to improve its positioning in, and penetration of, this macro-area, not the least in terms of attracting buyers and promoting incoming attendance with a view to the next Vinitaly show (14-17 April 2024) where the Open Balkan group show will return following this year's success." Sparkling and semi-sparkling products are the type of Italian wine most exported to the 15 countries in south-east Europe covered by the B2B event in Belgrade, with an overall share of more than 55% in terms of value. Prosecco is growing very strongly (30% of total), having exploded in the last two years, especially in Poland and the Czech Republic. The latter are, in order, the main importing countries of Italian wine, with a share in excess of 60% of the overall market; followed by Slovakia, Romania and Albania.
The ribbon cutting ceremony for the Italy Area at "Wine Vision by Open Balkan" was attended by Veronafiere Managing Director Maurizio Danese, Veneto Governor Luca Zaia, the Italian Ambassador to Serbia Luca Gori, the Director of the ICE Trade Agency office in Belgrade, Antonio Ventresca, and the Sales Director of Veronafiere, Raul Barbieri.
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