Italian Wines and the American Palate: Trends and Opportunities in USA


Conducted by David Lynch,  Editorial Director of SommSelect, The VINO 2017 roundtable included noteworthy panelists such as Michele Scannavini, Worldwide President of the Italian Trade Commission – ICE Agency; Steve Kim, the General Manager of Vinitaly International; Leena Baran, Senior Manager of Total Wine & More; Joe Campanale, renowned Wine Director in NYC and John Gillespie, CEO of Wine Opinions.

John Gillespie shared data from research on American consumers’ Italian wine buying habits, conducted by Wine Opinions, commissioned by Vinitaly International in collaboration with the Italian Trade Commission. Results show that 34% of “younger” consumers (under 40 years old) frequently buy mid-range priced Italian wine ─ bottles at $12 and above. You can download the highlights of the presentation by clicking here.

Italy remains the world’s leading wine supplier to the U.S., accounting for 32.4% of this country’s imported wine market share. The robust performance of Italian imported wines from January to November 2016 reached $1.65 billion USD, a 5.9% increase compared to the same period in 2015. Wine ranks number one in Italian food and wine exports and represents 4% of all of Italian products sold on the American marketplace.

“The United States is a complex market; it’s actually many different markets with unexplored opportunities. Italy has a solid market share but its average prices are significantly lower than France’s and it still has limited penetration in most regions of the country. For this reason, the Ministry of Economic Development has instructed the Italian Trade Commission to study and implement the largest promotional project of Italian wine in the U.S., beginning in 2017, with an investment of 20 million euros over three years,” says Michele Scannavini, Worldwide President of the Italian Trade Commission – ICE Agency.  New York is, therefore, the first stage of a broader plan for the promotion of Italian wines that will be implemented in the future years both in the U.S. and in China, another strategic market for Italy.

“Vinitaly has been present in the U.S. for fifteen years with its own initiatives aimed at importers, buyers and opinion leaders. In addition, the annual event in Verona welcomes more than 7,000 operators from the United States, accounting for 13% of attendees from outside of Italy,” highlights Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere Spa and Vinitaly. He continues, “We treat this market with great care and diligence to improve the performance of Italian wines and expand customer sectors. The partnership with the Italian Trade Commission in this market, and in China, is the fruition of years of hard work and commitment on the part of the Italian government and its institutions. Furthermore, this collaboration has allowed us to develop a major joint project for the promotion of one of the leading ‘Made in Italy’ assets in the world.”


Rare Grapes and Wines of Italy

Tasted Wines:
1. Cave Mont Blanc – Roussin de Morgex Spumante Brut 2014
2. Cave Mont Blanc – Prié Blanc 2009
3. Serafini e Vidotto – Recantina 2015
4. Tiberio – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012
5. Tiberio – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2014
6. Tiberio – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2014 Single Vineyard
7. Azienda Agricola Ciabot Berton – Bricco San Biagio Barolo 2013
8. Azienda Agricola Zýmē – Oseleta Igp Rosse Veronese 2008

Seminar: A Passion for Pink: Italy’s Love Affair with Rosato

Tasted Wines:
1. Mionetto – Gran Rosé Extra Dry
2. Cataldi Madonna – Cerasuolo di Montepulciano di Abruzzo 2015
3. Cantina di Custoza – Chiaretto DOC 2016
4. Tenuta Guado al Tasso – Scalabrone Bolgheri Rosato DOC 2015
5. Mastroberardino – Lacrimarosa Irpinia Rosato DOC 2016
6. Torrevento – Veritas Castel Del Monte Bombino Nero DOCG 2016
7. Cantina Le Grotte – Selva della Rocca Nero di Troia Rosato IGP 2016
8. L’Antica Cantina San Severo – Castrum San Severo DOP 2016
9. Produttori Vini Manduria – Amoroso Salento IGP Rosato Primitivo 2015
10. Vespa Vignaioli – “Raccontami” Primitivo di Manduria DOC 2014

Seminar: Barolo, Barbaresco and Their Crus

Tasted Wines:
1. Cantina del Pino – Barbaresco Ovello 2012
2. Agricola Gian Piero Marrone – Barolo Pichemej 2013
3. Cantina del Ciabot – Barolo Rocchettevino DOCG 2012
4. Cantina del Ciabot – Barolo Roggeri DOCG 2012
5. G.D. Vajra – Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2012
6. G.D. Vajra – Barolo Baudana 2012
7. Rivetto – Barolo Briccolina 2012
8. Marchesi di Barolo – Barolo Sarmassa 2011

Seminar: The Sparkling Life – Fresh & Fun Wines from Friuli


10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Presented by Consorzio Tutela Vini DOC Friuli Grave. Conducted by Lyn Farmer, James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer, WSET Instructor

Seminar: Franciacorta and its Different Expressions


12 PM – 1 PM Presented by FederDOC. Conducted by Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, Owner Ricci Curbastro Winery

Seminar: Panorama of Italy’s great wines North to South


1 PM – 2 PM Conducted by Ian D’Agata, Scientific Director Vinitaly International Academy- Verona, Italy

Seminar: Famiglie d’Amarone d’Arte: quality Amarone producers unite!


2 PM – 3 PM Conducted by Ian D’Agata, Scientific Director Vinitaly International Academy- Verona, Italy

Seminar: The Sparking Life: It’s always 5 o’ clock somewhere with Friuli wines


5 PM – 6:30 PM Presented by Consorzio Tutela Vini DOC Friuli Grave. Conducted by Charlie Arturaola, World Renown Sommelier and Wine Expert