In a significant boost for China’s recovering wine market after the pandemic-induced lull, the Vinitaly China Roadshow is set to make its highly anticipated return this month, rekindling optimism after the sector was rocked by the disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This event scheduled from September 11 to 15 this year will tour three major Chinese cities: the country’s capital Beijing, Changsha, an important Chinese culinary capital in Central China, and China’s fast expanding e-commerce heartland Hangzhou.
The roadshow is poised to revitalize the industry, reigniting trade and showcasing Italy’s finest wines as CEO of event organizer Veronafiere/Vinitaly hails China “the most significant” country for potential growth.
The Vinitaly China Roadshow is the only event organized by international tradeshow leaders in China that has maintained its course throughout the challenging COVID-19 years. This steadfast commitment to promoting Italian wine in China has solidified the roadshow’s reputation as the paramount business and communication event for Italian wine in the region.
The success of the roadshow is rooted in robust partnerships, marked by a six-year collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, co-sponsored by ITA/ICE, the Italian Commission for Foreign Trade. The 2023 edition will spotlight a remarkable array of 60 companies, presenting over 600 labels. Esteemed wineries such as Frescobaldi, Donnafugata, Ca Del Bosco, Banfi, and respected importers including Sinodrink and Summergate will all be part of this prestigious gathering. Notably, several newcomers will also make their debut in the Chinese market, introducing fresh and exciting wineries to the discerning audience.
According to the organizer, this year’s roadshow marks a historic first as three prestigious Italian wine consortia converge in China, overcoming the challenges posed by COVID-19. The Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Dogliani, Consorzio per la Tutela del Franciacorta, and Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella will jointly present their exceptional wines, enriching the event’s offerings.
The ITA/ICE Agency will kick off the Beijing leg of the roadshow with a masterclass hosted by Chinese Master Sommelier Yang LV at Rosewood Beijing. Additionally, four masterclasses will be conducted by consortium members in collaboration with wine industry experts, including Master of Wine Fongyee Walker, WSET educator JC Viens, and Italian wine educator Sophie Liu. The ICE Agency will also present two “I love ITAlian Wines” courses in Changsha and Hangzhou.
Italian Wine Week
In a strategic move to connect not only with importers but also with sales accounts in China, the Italian Wine Week will expand across all cities on the roadshow itinerary. This expansion includes participation from over 90 bars, bistros, e-commerce platforms, and retail outlets, with the initiative curated by Veronafiere and four local partners. This approach reflects an unprecedented commitment to engage with key players in the Chinese wine market.
In addition to wine, the roadshow also embraces the world of spirits and mixology. Guests can look forward to shifts with guest mixologists at the conclusion of each wine tasting session, in collaboration with Greater China’s finest cocktail bars.
A Vision for Growth
Maurizio Danese, CEO of Veronafiere/Vinitaly, emphasized the significance of Asia and China in the global wine market. “We started our first steps in China 30 years ago and in the year 2018 we opened our main office in Shanghai and then we established a Joint Venture with our partner with the headquarter based in Shenzhen. We believe in the importance of Asia and China. This area of the world is still the most significant in terms of potential of growth,” he said.
“Our overseas activities are based not only on the attracting of buyers and media to our exhibitions in Verona, in Italy but on the strengthening of the sectors that we represent with the exhibitions organized directly by us all around the world.
“Among them, wine represents one of our main strengths, especially in China where we have built over the years small-medium scale events with the brand Vinitaly in Chengdu and with our Roadshow and a large-scale exhibition in Shenzhen in May (next edition May 9-11, 2024) with more than 27 countries represented called Wine to Asia with our real first edition last May. We are now, more than ever, focused to intercept the cities, the channels and the players who are growing. All these activities in the name of the restart of imports,” he continued.
Program Vinitaly China Roadshow 2023
Beijing – Monday 11 September 2023 at Rosewood Beijing
11.00-12.30 Masterclass “Taste the Best of Italy”, MS Yang LV
14.00-19.00 Walk around tasting
15.30 – 17.00 Masterclass “Barolo & Barbaresco: The King and the Queen of the Red Wines”, Sophie Liu
Changsha, Wednesday 13 September 2023 at Niccolo Changsha
13.30-18.00 Walk around tasting
15.30-16.30 Masterclass “Travel in Time and Discover the Beautiful Wines of Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG and Why They Express More than 2,000 Years of Italy History”, JC Viens
Hangzhou, Friday 15 September 2023 at Park Hyatt Hangzhou
13.00-19.00 Walk around tasting
13.30-15.00 Masterclass “Be Inspired and Discover why the Sparkling Wines of Franciacorta DOCG are truly the quintessential expression of the Italian art of living”, JC Viens
16.00-17.30 Masterclass “Barolo & Barbaresco: The King and the Queen of the Red Wines” , MW Fongyee Walker