The election of Paolo Arena as President of the prestigious international network of Great Wine Capitals marks a significant moment for global wine tourism. The announcement, made at the company’s Annual General Meeting in Lausanne, underlines Verona’s growing role in the industry.

Paolo Arena: new president of the Great Wine Capitals

Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is a community of global cities linked to internationally renowned wine regions. With 12 global wine capitals, the network is an important benchmark for the industry, bringing together cities with a strong commitment to wine tourism. Paolo Arena, a recognised leader in the sector, has contributed significantly to raising the profile of Verona in the wine tourism scene. His experience as councillor of the Chamber of Commerce and president of the trade association Confcommercio Verona and Valerio Catullo Airport makes him particularly qualified for this position.

In his post-election speech, Arena expressed his commitment to promoting the wine regions of the member cities, aiming to create growth opportunities for businesses and the region. His vision includes the promotion of wine tourism and the strengthening of connections between the wine regions: “Our mission is clear: to enhance the wine regions of the member cities, creating growth opportunities for businesses and the region. I will continue, even in my new role as President, to work tirelessly to raise the profile of our Network. Together with my colleagues on the Executive Committee, we will build a solid future for wine tourism“.

The Great Wine Capitals attract 34.5 million tourists per year, produce 49 million hectolitres of wine, and comprise 644 thousand hectares under vine, 88 thousand growers and 13 thousand wineries. These figures underline the economic and cultural importance of the network in the global wine sector.

Catherine Leparmentier, CEO of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, enthusiastically welcomed the new leadership. Leparmentier emphasises the value of the experience of Arena and Jo Collins (Vice President) in guiding the network towards the 2030 strategy. Verona will host the General Assembly of the Great Wine Capitals in 2024, a key event for the industry.