VeronaFiere-Vinitaly flew to Rome to meet Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican Apostolic Palace for “The Economy of St. Francis and the World of Italian Wine” discussion day promoted by the Verona Exhibition Centre.

The Pope addressed Veronafiere-Vinitaly, its partners, and more than 100 wine producers and representatives of sector associations: “Wine, land, agricultural skills, and enterprise are gifts from God. Yet let us not forget that the Creator has entrusted all this to us, to our sensitivity and our honesty, so that we can turn them, as the Scriptures say, into a true source of joy for the heart of Man and of every man, not just those who have more opportunities. So, thank you for choosing to inspire your work with feelings of harmony, help for the vulnerable, and respect for Creation, following the example of St. Francis of Assisi.”

During his welcome address, Pope Francis also highlighted that: “Given the number of companies involved, the quality of your products, and the impact in terms of employment, your sector is unquestionably a significant reality on the Italian and international wine scene. It is therefore reassuring to see you come together to consider the ethical aspects and moral responsibilities all this entails, and that in doing so, you draw inspiration from the Poor Saint of Assisi”.

“The fundamental guidelines you have chosen to implement—attention to the environment, work, and healthy consumption habits—indicate an attitude focused on respect on several levels. And respect in your field is certainly fundamental: the mere application of industrial techniques and business logic is not enough to ensure quality products; the land, vineyards, cultivation, fermentation, and maturing processes require consistency, attention, and patience“.

The President of Veronafiere, Federico Bricolo, commented: “The Audience we attended, thanks to the support of the Diocese of Verona and in particular of Bishop Monsignor Domenico Pompili, is an event of extraordinary importance for Veronafiere, which, through Vinitaly, involves the main exponents of a sector that more than others expresses such a strong connection with our cultural origins”.

As Pope Francis reminded us,” Bricolo went on, “we pay homage to wine as a gift from God, a symbol of tradition, and a sustainable economic system in social and environmental terms. We emphasize our commitment with Vinitaly to preserve and enhance the wine-making heritage of our community to ensure that wine continues to be an aspect of social cohesion and open dialogue that inspires conviviality to bring people together”.

The audience with the Pope is part of the initiative “The Economy of St. Francis and the World of Italian Wine” organized by Veronafiere-Vinitaly in collaboration with the Diocese of Verona and with the support of Banca Generali and Generali Italia through its Cattolica Business Unit.

Pope Francis with Federico Bricolo, VeronaFiere President