South Italy still popular—North Italy holds its ground
"Germany remains the most important export market for the Italians," em-phasises Emilio Pedron, Managing Director of the consortium Gruppo Itali-ano Vini (GIV) that owns vineyards from Piedmont to Sicily. The stately number of registrations from the Italian camp for ProWein 2006, from 26 through 28 March, confirms the fact that numerous small and medium-sized producers see things the same. Roughly 600 exhibitors present them-selves in Hall 3 with approximately 5,000 square metres. ProWein offers the unbeatable advantage of being able to welcome German buyers as well as international customers (f.e. from the Benelux, Great Britain, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia).
One special attraction is the large number of coop stands run by associa-tions and consortiums. Particularly the North Italians take advantage of cooperative presentations to promote their regions and wines. Here, buy-ers can taste a broad selection of wines to gain an impression of the new vintage. At the stand of the Friaul region, buyers can scrutinise the quality level of white wines from the various DOC regions (Collio, Colli Orientali Friuli, Isonzo or Grave Friuli) and compare them with those from South Ty-rol only a few metres away. Whether Tocai friulano, Sauvignon blanc or Pi-not Grigio from Friaul or Pinot bianco, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio from South Tyrol—in both regions, a growing number of wine-growers are bank-ing on white wines made from a combination of varieties, something that was previously reserved for red wines.
Under the Provinc Treviso cooperative umbrella, the Prosecco Consortium welcomes visitors who are convinced by the higher specialty dealer quality of DOC products and can discuss the pricing situation. After all, there is a difference in price—and quality—between the noticeably cheaper IGT Proseccos (Indicazione Geografica tipica) from the rambling Veneto low-lands and the limited area of the DOC regions (Denominazione Origine controllata) in the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiaddene.
As in the previous year, the small, mountainous wine-growing region Tren-tino shows its interest in a long-term engagement at ProWein with a large and attractive coop stand. With their visually appealing appearance in front of large landscape photos, they are also promoting wine tourism as a central pillar of their communication strategy.
Several winegrowers' associations from the consumer favourite Tuscany are of course also present, most notably the sizeable Chianti Classico Consor-tium, with the intention of further promoting the wines with the Gallo Nero label. This year 17 growers are participating who, due to their wines from various communities demonstrate the singularity and variety of the Sangiovese within the region. "The character of the wine tells you whether it grows at 450 or 250 metres above MSL or on north or south hillsides," explains Guiseppe Liberatore, Director of the Consortium.
South Italy and price tendencies: Always good for discoveries
Other varieties have been able to establish themselves in south Italian re-gions, such as Primitivo or Negroamaro (Apulia), Nero d'Avola (Sicily) or Aglianico (Campania/Basilicata), which are spreading in the German mar-ket and have become a permanent part of the product line—not only with Italian wine dealers. Those looking for something new have come to the right place in Club Italia: Several South Italian vineyards present their wines here. Especially retailers continue to search for additions to their product line from South Italy, as well as an interesting alternative or two for their partners from North and Central Italy.