Press Area:
Vinitaly: a success story

Vinitaly is the event that more than any other has marked the evolution of the wine system on a national and international scale, helping to make wine one of the most exciting and dynamic realities in the primary sector.

1967: 22-23 September - Palazzo della Gran Guardia hosted Italian Wine Days. This was effectively the official debut of Vinitaly.

1969: the third edition of Italian Wine Days saw the conference programme flanked by 130 wine cellars exhibiting their products.

1971: the event became Vinitaly - International Wine-Growing Show - a full scale trade exhibition. An auction of fine wines was held, organised by Agriturist and directed by Mario Soldati. Vinitaly was also joined by a trade section dedicated to machinery, equipment and products for wine-making and the first edition of the DOC Wines Exhibition Catalogue.

1978: Vinitaly earned "internationalʺ status and opened its doors to attendance by foreign companies.

1980: Vinitaly changed its dates and henceforth was held between late March and early April.

1987: Vinitaly hosted the first Olive Show.

1988: The Olive Show became SOL. Distilla, the Grappa, Brandy and Spirits Show

1992: the International Wine Competition  was set up and has since become the most selective and popular in the world. On average, only 90 medals are awarded to about 3,600 wines entered from about 30 countries.

1995: Distilla was with merged Vinitaly and the event was renamed Vinitaly - International Wine and Spirits Exhibition.

1996: the International Packaging Competition, rewarding the best finished bottles for wine,

1998: The international status of Vinitaly was confirmed and relaunched by VeronaFiere's decision - on its centenary - to move into China (Shanghai) with China Wine, a positive experience that was repeated in following years.

The wine and oil equipment sector became a specific trade event: Enolitech, the Exhibition of Wine-Growing and Cellar Techniques & Olive-Growing and Olive Oil Technologies.

2002: Veronafiere took Vino&Olio to Singapore.

2003: after a successful initial event in 2002, the exhibition also “conquered” America with Vinitaly US Tour in Chicago and San Francisco - and also attended IFOWS, the Italian Food and Wine Show, in Mumbay, India.

Vinitaly For You was created - the Vinitaly off-show event dedicated to wine lovers held in Palazzo della Gran Guardia, in the historic heart of Verona, as young and relaxed approach to tasting fine wines.

2004: rebranding of Vinitaly. The Vinitaly  brand was directly promoted - for the first time, after six years - in China and - an absolute innovation - in Russia.  The Vinitaly US Tour continued with Miami and San Francisco.

2005: the brand internationalisation stage was upgraded at the service of the entire Italian wine system. New efforts in India with IFOWS prepared the ground for the first full-scale edition of Vinitaly India.  May welcomed the second edition of Vinitaly Russia and October saw the US Tour (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles). November, in keeping with tradition, saw Shanghai host the 7th edition of Vinitaly China. 

The main exhibition in Verona (April) saw the definitive launch of new initiatives combining wine and international catering with "Gulliver's Travels" and "Wine & Food Pairings", as well as space for emerging producers through "Trendy Today - Big Tomorrow" and meetings with buyers and the Ho.Re.Ca. channel.

2006: Vinitaly "came of age" with its 40th anniversary. Two new exhibition halls (10 & 11) were joined by expanding presence on international markets thanks to Vinitaly Japan in Tokyo in November, the first edition with the Vinitaly brand in India in Mumbay and New Delhi, the third event in Russia with St. Petersburg as the innovation alongside well-consolidated Moscow, Vinitaly US Tour (Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas) and Vinitaly China in Shanghai (China).

The  International Packaging Competition welcomed liqueurs and spirits made from fruit other than grapes; previously, in 2005, the award had embraced spirits made from wine products.

2007: following successful on-line matching through the  site in previous years, Vinitaly launched "Taste Italy", a new initiative bringing together supply and demand. Here, the best Italian companies present to 5,000 international operators and trade journalists - through an innovative dispenser system - the "top products" and "new products" of the year.

Innovations also involved the International Wine Competition, thanks to an agreement between VeronaFiere and the exclusive Isetan fine food distribution chain in Japan, that in October 2007 saw the creation of sales corner for award-winning wines in its stores in Tokyo. An agreement with Spazio Italia, also ensured the company winning the Italy section of the Competition 15 days of pro motion in the area managed by Air Dolomiti/Lufthansa in the departure area for Italy of Munich International Airport.

Vinitaly 2007 saw the creation of Genius Wines, an integrated system serving companies developed by the consortium between VeronaFiere, Federvini and Uiv. Objectives include the identification of new outlet markets and the promotion of Italian produce.

2007 came to an end with EU recognition of the quality, innovation and organisation levels achieved by VeronaFiere with its international initiatives in the wine field: Brussels approved an EU project  lasting three years (2008-2010) co-financed by Italy and the Italian Wine Union for about 4 million Euro to promote quality European wines in China, India and Russia, with VeronaFiere Authority as the actuator .

2008: "Passionate Business" was launched as the synthesis of the operative mission and philosophy of VeronaFiere: passion for wine and effective business.

Vinitaly World Tour celebrated its 10th anniversary - starting off again from India in January. February saw Vinitaly US Tour, now doubling up with an initial trip to Miami and Palm Beach. June welcomed the new stage in Russia, while October saw Vinitaly return to the USA - this time to Chicago, New York and, for the first time, to the capital Washington. The international calendar culminates in November with Japan (where the promotion agreement between VeronaFiere and Isetan has been extended until 2010) and China, with stop-offs in Peking, Shanghai and - for the first time - Macao.

2009: Vinitaly 2009 welcomes the inauguration of new Hall 1 - bringing gross inside area at the exhibition centre to 150 thousand square metres.

In implementing a development policy in full respect of the environment, VeronaFiere equipped the new hall with 2,000 square metres of solar panels -  generating electricity equivalent to the annual requirement of 33 apartments.

Following positive experience in 2008 with Agrifood Club, the Exhibition of quality agro-foods, it was definitively decided to expand trade sectors targeting interested international operators beyond wine with Vinitaly and extra virgin olive oil with Sol to all "Made in Italy" agro-foods.

Exhibitors at Enolitech are provided a free anti-counterfeiting service to protect industrial and intellectual copyrights of products on show and counter the presence of trade operators exhibiting “counterfeit products” or practicing “unfair competition”.

November saw the debut of Vinitaly World Tour in Seoul, South Korea.

2010: advanced services for companies, direct web-based marketing to increase the number of international trade operators and improve the loyalty of those already involved in  Vinitaly are the central theme of the 44th edition of Vinitaly, that for the first time in its history welcomed an official visit by the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. Innovations were also introduced to provide even more assistance to visitors attending the event, with hand-held PC or blackberry services and the new My Vinitaly space in the event's internet site. An online platform dedicated to journalists has also been inaugurated, providing organised availability of press releases, images, videos, interviews, analysis and market research - so that everything at Vinitaly is just one click away.

The International Wine Competition introduces - alongside the Special “Vinitaly Nation 2010” and “Gran Vinitaly 2010” awards - the Special “Vinitaly Region 2010” Award. Wines winning medals may now include “International Wine Competition 2010” on bottle labels: acknowledgement of quality attained thereby becomes a marketing tool ensuring impact all over the world.

Singapore joins the stop-offs of the Vinitaly World Tour, that changes format to become Vinitaly in the World, following the agreement between the Ministry for Agricultural Policies and VeronaFiere envisaging the possibility for consortia, associations and individual wine-making companies also to include in national and regional projects for international promotion, in part financed by the new Wine CMO, participation in Vinitaly stop-offs in other countries.

2011: Vinitaly is a protagonist of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Unity of Italy with the “Unity of Italy Bottle”. The project, launched by VeronaFiere at the 2010 edition during the historic visit by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, is the only one in the reference sector to receive the official logo for these celebrations.

Blends of 20 pure reds and 20 pure whites - representing a grape variety from each of the 20 Italian regions - created two wines that, after being offered to the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, were donated to important international dignitaries.

The 45th Vinitaly staged “Sparkling Italy”, a tasting of classic and charmat method sparkling wines dedicated to pre-registered international buyers, journalists and operators and presented by the tutelage consortia. The innovative presentation and tasting system involves sommeliers and IT systems.

2012: Vinitaly keeps up with the times and reduces show days from 5 to 4; the weekly interval also changes, from the traditional Thursday-Monday to the new Sunday-Wednesday. This decision sought to optimise attendance by specialised traders arriving from all over the world and provide more space for operators in the horeca channel. This result was achieved - with over 140,000 visitors, of whom 35% from 116 countries and nearly 95,000 square meters of net occupied area in 2012 (FKM-certified data), as well as better profiling, with higher levels of professionalism and internationalism of operators attending the event.

The eve of the 46th Vinitaly welcomed the first edition of OperaWine, the event presenting the best 100 Italian wine cellars chosen in collaboration with Wine Spectator.

The Vinitaly stable grew with the addition of Vivit – Vineyards, Winegrowers and Terroirs.

2013: Vinitaly in the World - the project launched by Veronafiere to promote the excellence of Italian wines all over the globe - takes the road again at the end of January in the United States under a new name: Vinitaly International. This re-branding aims to confirm the role of the event even further as an ambassador and partner for the development of the Italian wine business worldwide, through the implementation of a network of solid institutional and commercial relationships.

Welcome to the Vinitaly Wine Club: the most innovative promotional and online sales platform for the best Italian labels and selected collections of wine held in high regard by collectors and enthusiasts but as yet still unexplored by the general public.

Vinitaly and the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) signed an agreement whereby the dates of their respective events will be coordinated for four years to allow buyers and media from all over the world to optimise attendance at two of the main international events in the wine sector calendar.

2014: Vinitaly inaugurates two new shows - Vininternational (bringing all international exhibitors together under one roof) and VINITALYBIO (the exhibition of certified organic wines) - and proposes a new initiative expressly for business meetings: the International Buyers' Lounge. Knowledge of Italian wines is also promoted world-wide thanks to the new Vinitaly International Academy, the educational initiative created by Vinitaly International in collaboration with Ian D'Agata.

Vinitaly, recognized as the reference exhibition on an international scale in the wine sector, was entrusted by the Ministry for Agricultural Policies with the implementation and management of VINO - A Taste of Italy, the Wine Pavilion at Expo Milan 2015.

Sol d'Oro doubled up, with the debut of Sol d'Oro Southern Hemisphere in Chile in September. The contest will travel around olive oil producing countries in the southern hemisphere.

2015: Vinitaly International travelled to Canada for the first time in January and hosted the first Italian Wine Specialisation Course in Verona 16-20 March. Created by the International Vinitaly Academy-VIA, the course issues two certificates depending on the level of skill achieved: "Italian Wine Ambassador" and "Italian Wine Expert". "Italian Wine Experts" will support VIA activities in their own countries as teachers.

Expo 2015: the VINO - A Taste of Italy Pavilion - the first ever dedicated to wine in the history of the Universal Exposition - put forward a cultural and tasting route involving 3600 labels, 150,000 bottles and about 800,000 tastings and was visited by 2.1 million people, with 20% from abroad (especially China). At the end of Expo, it received Class Expo Pavilion Heritage Award as the best Pavilion focusing on a single food item.

After the "zero edition" in 2014 and with the aim of completing Vinitaly's service offering, in 2015 Veronafiere promoted wine2wine in December - the wine business forum embracing training, information and networking in the wine sector.

2016: Vinitaly celebrates its first 50 years. The President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella inaugurated the 50th edition: it was the first time in the history of the trade fair.

The show, acknowledged as a strategic economic lever for the internationalisation of Italian wine companies, is part of the special Made in Italy promotion plan funded by the Ministry of Economic Development as the landmark trade fair for the wine sector.

After 22 years, the International Wine Competition - the most selective in the world - evolved into the 5 Star Wine International Award, which will only be assigned to wines achieving a score of at least 90-hundredths in the assessments of commissions made up of international experts specialising the geographic areas of origin of the wines. The Wine Without Walls Award dedicated to wines made without sulphites or those will sulphites not exceeding 40 mg/l was set up.

Vinitaly International travelled for the first time to Canada for the Vancouver International Wine Festival, the country's main wine&food event.

The agreement signed in 2013 between Vinitaly and the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) was renewed in order to coordinate the dates of their respective events for four years. For wine Show in Verona: 9-12 April 2017; 15-18 April 2018; 7-10 April 2019; 5-8 April 2020.

VeronaFiere becames a joint-stock company and implemented an investment plan worth 94 million euros through to 2020 which, among other things, envisages: the consolidation of existing events and international leadership in the wine&food sector; services dedicated to the internationalization of companies with an emphasis in the wine&food sector on China and the USA; digital innovation in processes and management of relationships with customers and the market (digital transformation).

2017: organized by Sol&Agrifood, the EVOO Days were the first forum for training and the creation of a network of knowledge and relationships in the olive oil sector.

5 Star Wines moved further beyond the concept "prizes" to become 5 Star Wines The Book - a Guide to wines from all over the world achieving a score of at least 90 hundredths. As the only exhibition in the world offering such a product that turns into marketing tool, Vinitaly relies on tasting juries made up of international experts. The guide also includes the Wine Without Walls section.

Veronafiere Press Service

Tel.: + 39.045.829.82.42 – 82.85 – 82.10

E-mail: pressoffice@veronafiere.it - www.vinitaly.com