Sales of Amarone in the world are on the rise. The famous red passito from Valpolicella in 2022 recorded a decrease in volumes of 7.2% while the value of sales ex-cellar increased by 4% to 360 million. Domestic demand is equal to 40% of sales with +1.5% in volume and +7.4% in value. Exports recorded a drop of 13% while in terms of revenues there was a +1.8%. The United States is confirmed as the first market, overtaking Canada and Switzerland. This is revealed by the survey carried out for the Valpolicella wine consortium by Nomisma Wine Monitor and released today during the Amarone Opera Prima in Verona, the two-day event of the Valpolicella wine consortium to celebrate the 2018 vintage of the Veronese red. «2021 was an exceptional year in terms of sales – says Christian Marchesini, president of the Consortium for the protection of Valpolicella wines -. 2022 served to consolidate growth, with less striking but nonetheless significant results. This is also demonstrated by the bottlings, which recorded a 12% increase compared to the pre-covid period for a commercial year which was in any case the second best of the decade, with over 17 million bottles placed on the market. The denomination is confirmed in balance, thanks also to a stabilization finally achieved on the front of the vineyard area after the blockade of the plants in 2019″.
Catering drives sales
«The growth of Amarone on the national market is linked above all to the recovery of consumption away from home and in particular in the restaurant industry which has been able to benefit from the return of foreign tourists, increased in the first ten months of 2022 by over 90% compared to the same period of the previous year» underlines Denis Pantini, Head of Wine Monitor of Nomisma. The DOCG dry passito red achieves more than half of its turnover from the Ho.Re.Ca channel. also thanks to the recovery of international tourism in 2022. In the first nine months of 2022, revenues related to catering see a trend growth of 47%, to the full advantage of wine orders. According to the survey on the positioning of Valpolicella wines among the Italian consumer, by Wine Monitor, it frames the whole centrality of the horeca channel among wine enthusiasts, with 54% of Italians having consumed the products of the Veronese denomination in the last 2, 3 years , and 43% also did so in restaurants. On the other hand, 29% of Italians, mainly males, millennials, executives or entrepreneurs, who drank Amarone away from home with an average declared cost of around 40 euros, a price that 7 out of 10 consider correct. A relationship, that between customers and chestnuts, considered privileged in 51% of cases and to be consumed in particular on special or formal occasions (28%). «The Valpolicella system, Amarone first and foremost, cannot do without catering, which was and remains the privileged channel for our wines – continues Marchesini -. For this reason, after years of strong limitations, we are happy to be back working at full capacity with those who have contributed significantly to the growth of our territory”. For 2023, the desire to experiment with lesser-known companies prevails, with the choice factors also linked to organic and sustainable products, in addition to the corporate brand.
The Unesco candidacy
The Valpolicella Consortium has also completed the dossier for the presentation of the candidacy of the technique of setting aside the Valpolicella grapes for UNESCO intangible heritage. In the ten pages of the dossier drawn up by the scientific committee there are documents for the registration of a winemaking practice in the lists protected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Among the strengths, also identified the territorial extension of the withering practiced by 8 thousand people in the 19 municipalities of the denomination. The document will be sent to the Ministry of Culture, to that of Agriculture and to the National Commission for Unesco, the inter-ministerial body coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has the task of choosing, by 30 March, the only Italian candidate to be send to Paris for evaluation. After the Prosecco hills, Luca Zaia, president of the Veneto region, is aiming for the candidacy for UNESCO intangible heritage for the technique of setting aside the Valpolicella grapes. «There are 2,700 farms, we are talking about tradition – recalls Zaia -. I strongly wanted the Amarone drying method to become a World Heritage Site. And for this we are working and we are supporting the Consortium, sure of reaching the goal. Now there is a dialogue, but the assumptions are all there: typicality, historicity, tradition and also for this iconic role of Amarone. There is another big dossier that I know by arguing that it is that of the Bolca fish dish which, obviously, I believe will see the light». The atlas of Valpolicella wines includes over 2,400 companies including winemakers, winemakers and bottlers in a production area that extends into 19 municipalities in the province of Verona, from Valpolicella to the Verona city which holds the record for the largest urban vineyard in the boot. 8,600 hectares of vineyards and a turnover of over 600 million euros, more than half of which refer to the performance of Amarone. This is the snapshot of the Consortium for the protection of Valpolicella wines which, with over 80% of representation, protects and promotes the denomination in Italy and in the world.