Veronafiere launches the Vinitaly USA 2024 project in Chicago

B2B meetings at the International Wine Expo 2023

The United States of America is the top outlet destination for Italian wine exports, worth 1.8 billion euros in 2022. This demanding market must be monitored with consistency and close attention. The Vinitaly USA 2024 system project was set in motion precisely this objective in mind. The occasion was the launch of the partnership with the International Wine Expo, a b2b event already well established for many years in Chicago – the capital of the Midwest region – co-signed this year by Vinitaly. The show held 22-23 October attracted more than 200 Italian companies presenting 1,000 labels for tasting, flanked by of high-level master classes  and talks about wine, attended by over 350 importers, as well as large-scale retail and horeca channel professionals.

“Long-standing teamwork with institutions has proven us right. We have overcome an important and complex challenge to bring together all the projects within the scope of the Vinitaly brand and create an emphatic promotional occasion for the Italian wine sector in the USA,” said Federico Bricolo, President of Veronafiere.

Confirmation of this also came from Matteo Zoppas, President of the ICE Trade Agency: “Trade fairs are strategic for business matching, especially for small-medium companies. Alongside Veronafiere and Vinitaly, which have already moved with care on this market, ICE is evaluating together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Assocamerestero, all in attendance in Chicago during the event, the project to make Vinitaly USA 2024 the main event for this fundamental market.”

A trade fair bridge which as of 2024 will permanently connect Italy and the world’s largest wine market boasting imports worth 7.3 billion dollars and 4.5 billion bottles uncorked per year.

Federico Bricolo, President of Veronafiere (left) and Maurizio Danese, Managing Director of Veronafiere

Vinitaly USA 2024 will also follow the indications of the new importers’ committee with whom we will share strategies and common interests for the development of Italian wine. The objective is to make relationships with the market even more profitable given its current great interest in premium wines at the same time as looking for new proposals. And Italy with 540 different grape varieties is in a perfect position to offer unique choices in the world to meet the needs of the horeca sector, importers and distributors of a geo-economic area which, according to our Observatory, by 2040 will grow to an equivalent of 1.2 billion bottles,” said the Managing Director of Veronafiere, Maurizio Danese.

This year’s exhibition debut for Vinitaly in the United States came about thanks to collaboration with Italian Expo, the Italian-American Chamber of Commerce of Chicago and the Midwest and the ICE Trade Agency in Chicago and New York. These realities boast strong roots in the political and economic fabric of Illinois. The Gala dinner of the event was attended by high-profile figures including the Vice Governor of the State of Illinois, Juliana Stratton , and the Secretary of State of Illinois, Alexi Giannoulias.

Matteo Zoppas, President of ICE-Trade Agency at Cine City Studios in Chicago

The CineCity Studios in Chicago where the event took place also hosted numerous high-profile master classes over the two days. These included the iconic tasting by Michaela Morris of Decanter with the 6 top Italian wines earning the top places in the magazine’s World Wine Awards, as well as the wines of Campania, Sardinia and Veneto, the all-Friuli tasting-cooking show and the tasting of wines by cellars managed by women. Other events include a focus on wine tourism and sustainable wines, as well as the presentation of the Italian Hospitality Award. Mention must also be made of the Vinitaly Tasting area – the wine point created to present a selection of 66 Italian labels to an audience of international operators.

This initiative will be implemented in 2024, as explained by the Sales Director of Veronafiere, Raul Barbieri: Two roadshows are already planned next year in New York and Houston, where two master classes led by Ian D’Agata are also scheduled, before returning to Chicago with the first edition of Vinitaly USA – which will also highlight Mixology to promote a segment that is by now well established at Vinitaly in Verona which also has considerable potential in the United States of America