The great experience and sagacity of the wine producers is facing new challenges. Covid-19 forced almost all restaurants in Italy and worldwide to close. In recent decades, Italian wine had conquered a high level position not only like in the past for the quantities produced but for quality and competitiveness. Now this unstoppable phenomenon has had to stop and the crisis is compromising the year’s economy. The main challenge will be starting over, it takes determination and perhaps even stubbornness, but at this moment, in this elusive phase 2 it’s also necessary to reflect on the many pre-existing weaknesses because probably there will be opportunities for those who will deal with new visions, new strategies, new organizations and why not with more robust teams.
Wine entrepreneurs at the time of Covid-19
This issue of Gambero Rosso collects multiple and multifaceted opinions, but also cries of pain of passionate entrepreneurs who fear being abandoned to a sad fate, seeing continuing as something impossible, the risk of layoffs and the loss of market shares up to then laboriously and deservedly conquered. On paper our rulers defend the economy and always mention how the creativity of fine foods and beverages has contributed to divulging the high reputation that Italy enjoys and to defend GDP and export even in the very long stagnation of the last decade, without forgetting the decisive role of tourism.
I said on paper because in fact funds for farm protection are scarce even in the agricultural field and will be accessible through tough procedures. With the huge income reduction and the inevitable growth of unemployment, Italian wine will have only one way to go, to export. We have discussed it for a long time with the leaders of ICE, which is aware that––as the Gambero Rosso Guides in its multiple translations, countless promotional events, master classes in the capitals of the world––are and will be at the service of top wine excellences. However, we must hurry, since the markets are reopening and our delays can leave room for bottles coming from other countries. This must not happen and we, in our own small way, will fight to avoid it.
by Paolo Cuccia