Vinitaly opened 2024 with two intercontinental trips. To prepare for the next big event in April, Veronafiere President Federico Bricolo flew to the East for the first two Far East stops of Vinitaly Preview 2024, an international promotional program for the Verona-based event. The first appointment was held in Seoul, South Korea, on January 12, and then the president moved to Tokyo, Japan, on the 15th.

The trip seeks to intercept highly qualified international operators, stakeholders, and experts. In fact, prior to the Christmas stop, it had already hit numerous essential places throughout the world, including China and Brazil. Still on the schedule are Sweden, Austria, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.

South Korea and Japan are strategic points for Vinitaly.

The two eastern hubs are significant and prospective growth drivers for the Italian wine market. South Korea’s wine imports from Italy increased by 131% for the three-year period 2019–2022. Despite the global economic crisis, Italian wine exports have more than doubled. However, Italy remains the third largest exporter to South Korea, with a 15% market share, over half that of France.

Japan’s scenario is similar, with France still leading the way and Italy coming in second with 12 percent of the market. And French wines account for almost 60%. However, this is not an indifferent partner; traditionally, Japan has been the leading importer of Italian wine in Asia, and according to recent data, it is increasingly focused on quality goods, with DOC and IGP wines accounting for more than 80% of imports.