In an effort to quell fears with the fast-spreading novel coronavirus, Veronafiere has confirmed the dates for the 54th edition of Vinitaly, which will take place as scheduled from April 19 to 22, the organizer announced.
Fears of possible cancellation of the wine fair in Verona were raised after Italy became the center of outbreak in Europe with the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, rising to 400 mostly in northern Italy’s Lombardy and Veneto.
The decision – the outcome not the least of careful analysis of available data as well as listening to the positions of stakeholders and the market – including the main sector associations – was taken yesterday by the Board of Directors of Veronafiere, according to the organiser.
The decision was also taken in agreement with the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, and the Mayor of Verona, Federico Sboarina, it adds.
“The world of Italian wine has already provided positive signs of change in the past. Veronafiere is convinced that, even on this occasion, the sector will contribute to the recovery of our economy and revive a climate of trust in the country,” said CEO Giovanni Mantovani.
“We are well aware,” Mantovani added, “of the current difficulties and the distorted image of Italy perceived abroad, yet we are convinced that the emergency will be brought under control so that we can duly organize the event representing the driving force for Italian wine in the world.”
According to media reports, 12 people have died from the COVID-19 in Italy as of today.
The virus outbreak has shaken global market confidence, and led to cancellations of major wine events in China where it originated and rest of Asia including China’s biggest drinks fair Chengdu wine and spirits fair and Prowine Asia in Singapore.
Though Chengdu wine fair has yet to announce a rescheduled date but Prowine Asia has rescheduled the fair to July (13-16) instead of April, if the outbreak is under control by then.