Chianti Classico Collection 2023: producers who embody passion, and strive for excellence – Filippo Magnani

The Chianti Classico Collection 2023 came together this year, for its flagship event, “Anteprime Toscana.” The Collection plays an important role in spreading awareness and improving transparency of one of Italy’s most charming and multifaceted wine territories.

The “Collection” took place in the beautiful Leopolda Station in Florence. It was the 30th edition, hosting a record number of producers (206 Black Rooster Estates) who presented the latest vintages of their Chianti Classico, Riserva and Gran Selezione wines to both the press and industry professionals. A total of 750 wines were presented between Chianti Classico Annata, Riserva, Gran Selezione and barrel samples from the 2022 vintage. The event was opened to the public on Valentine’s Day also offering an immersive tasting experience of wines, olives, cheeses, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. A dedicated tasting area was set up for the Olive Oil DOP Chianti Classico where 30 different oils were showcased.

The Chianti Classico territory is quite complex, and a series of seminars were presented by Alessandro Masnaghetti, better known as “The “Mapman” for his significant contribution to mapping the vineyards of the world’s most significant wine-producing areas, and author of the recently published Chianti Classico Atlas of its vineyards and Additional Geographical Units.

Chianti Classico’s Constant Innovation

The Geographical Units mentioned in the seminars mark a step towards more profound knowledge and a greater appreciation of the peculiarities of Chianti Classico. The goal is to highlight the specific microclimatic characteristics with an even greater focus on the underlying differences that exist within these areas. The 11 UGA (San Casciano, Greve, Montefioralle, Lamole, Panzano, Radda, Gaiole, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Vagliagli, Castellina, San Donato in Poggio) are today labeled singularly with the name of the specific village of origin.

Showing the name of the municipality or village on the label will spark both curiosity and recognition from the increasingly high numbers of consumers who would like to improve. their understanding of the micro territories of Black Rooster wines.

Chianti Classico, a region that is eager to develop and has a vision of hospitality

This region has been one of the most popular destinations for wine enthusiasts for centuries. Perched on a plateau at altitudes between 200 and 800 metres, it’s covered with forests of oak, chestnut, pine and cypress trees. Now held in the arms of its two historic capitals, Florence and Siena, Chianti Classico was first loved by the Etruscans, then the Romans. The territory still preserves evidence of many past cultures. The earliest documentation of the existence of a wine-producing district dates back to the 13th  century with the “Lega del Chianti”, formalized between Radda, Gaiole and Castellina and branded with the famous Black Rooster which, after many glorious years, became the official symbol of Chianti Classico wine in 2005. The rooster symbolizes the spirit of the Territory; strong, elegant, lively, and proud. Its crowing marking a new day.

With a high density of wineries, the region is a true oenological paradise full of castles and ancient abbeys where fine wines are matured, world-famous wineries alongside small and no less prestigious family-run estates, traditional cellars and architectural masterpieces. A setting in which hospitality and its experiences take on various forms with a multitude of activities. The producers here understand the importance of hospitality which brings great economic value, diversifying income, creates effective means of communicating values, and enhances the distribution of their wines. From curious wine enthusiasts to collectors, guests are drawn to the famous winemaking names of Chianti but also discover hidden gems of the highest quality. From private wine clubs and sommelier associations to restaurateurs, wine tourism in the Chianti Classico region embraces an increasingly varied public. Consequently, wineries work together with the tourism sector to create personalized and authentic wine and culinary trips.

As always it was a true pleasure, to once again, meet so many passionate producers who exemplify the culture and philosophy of Chianti Classico! 

Old World Wines Gaining Share Across US On-Premise

CGA by NIQ’s latest On-Premise Measurement Research explores the share of total wine, with a focus on domestic white and red wine categories across the US, to highlight the opportunities for suppliers as old-world wines continue to gain share.

Using insights from the latest 52-week period of CGA’s OPM data to 12/31/2022, it is apparent that domestic wines account for the largest share of total wine across the US On-Premise (66.4%), but opportunities emerging for suppliers and operators to capture changing consumer preferences as they explore and consume old-world origin varietals.

At a total US level, domestic wines still hold the largest share of the market, however, old-world wines have continued to gain share. While domestic share has largely been maintained (-0.8pp), recent share changes demonstrate that US consumers are increasingly opting for old-world wines, specifically of regions including Italy (+0.5pp), New Zealand (+0.3pp) and France (+0.2pp).

Within red, domestic wine continues to hold a significant proportion (72.8%) of the share of red wine, up 0.8pp vs YA – continuing to increase its importance in comparison to all other major origins. Within the category, international origin wines tracked are losing share, including Italy (-0.1pp), Argentina (-0.4pp) and Spain (-0.1pp).

Whereas, white domestic wine has lost share (-1.6pp) and holds 61% of total share of white wine. Consumers are increasing looking to old world regions for white varietals in the US On-Premise. Most notably, from Italy (+0.9pp) has seen the largest increase in share gain, followed by New Zealand (+0.5pp) and France (+0.3pp).

Andrew Hummel, Client Solutions Director for North America, states: “Category and varietal insights are so important to help shape effective strategies for the On-Premise. Consumer preferences are changing, and being armed with the knowledge and insight to adapt offerings will enable success in 2023. While domestic wines still hold the largest share of the market across the US, increasing competition and innovation is gaining traction with consumers. OPM data tracking over time gives a comprehensive view of how the channel is evolving and helps identify opportunities for growth.”

Here is the research link:



Diageo appoints Debra Crew as its first female CEO

British multinational premium drinks giant Diageo has just appointed Debra Crew as CEO, one of few women to lead a FTSE 100 company.

Diageo announced that Sir Ivan Menezes would step down on June 30th after 10 years as chief executive and is promoting its current chief operating officer Debra Crew to chief executive officer effective 1 July 2023.

The company employs 28,000 people globally and sells over 200 brands in more than 180 markets. It is also the largest company, by net sales value, in scotch and Canadian whisky, vodka, gin, rum, liquors and tequila.

Only eight of the UK’s top 100 listed companies have a female chief executive, which include: Dame Alison Rose at NatWest, Amanda Blanc at Aviva, Dame Emma Walmsley at GSK, Jette Nygaard-Andersen at Entain, Liv Garfield at Severn Trent, Jennie Daly at Taylor Wimpey, Margherita Della Valle at Vodafone – who is interim chief executive – and Milena Mondini de Focatiis at Admiral.

Before being appointed chief operating officer in October 2022, Crew ran Diageo’s business in North America, its largest market. She joined the company in 2019 and previously headed the tobacco firm Reynolds American until it was acquired by BAT. Before that, she spent five years at PepsiCo and worked at Kraft Foods, Nestlé and Mars.


The Think Tank on Talent in Wine Tourism – Part I

The Think Tank on Talent in Wine Tourism took place March 23 and 24 2023, ahead of the 7th UNWTO World Conference on Wine Tourism, November 2023 in La Rioja, Spain.

The overall objective was to address the current situation of wine tourism training at the international level and to identify the specific training needs to respond to the demands of the sector in the coming years.

The Think Tank was Jointly organized by the Government of La Rioja and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain, in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization.  The Think Tank’s 2-day event: the first day was a closed meeting with key relevant experts in the sector, as well as representatives from wine tourism territories from around the world; and the second day was a series of sessions open to the public.

Here is day two of the programme:

  • 7th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism presentation – Maria Soledad Gaido, Technical Coordinator, Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO
  • Enorregion Strategic Project Presentation – María Jesús Miñana, General Director of Agriculture and Livestock, Government of La Rioja; Pilar Vargas, General Director of the University and Scientific Policy, Government of La Rioja; and Ramiro Gil, General Director of Tourism, Government of La Rioja
  • Introduction to Wine Tourism Training

Panel 1. Origin – Wine Tourism and Training Resources

Rainer Brusis, Director, Innovation Management

Marianna Sigala, Director, Centre for Tourism and Leisure Management (CTLM), University of South Australia (Australia)

Gergely Szonloki, professor of Market Research, Geisenheim
University / Member of the OIV/UNWTO Working Group (Germany)

Panel 2. Destination – Wine Tourism Prospects and Future Profesional Skills

Manuel Romero, Director, Dinamiza Asesores

Claudio Cilveti, President, Enoturismo Chile

Catherine Leparmentier, Managing Director, Great Wine Capitals
Global Network / Oenotourisme et Réseaux Internationaux,Chamber of Commerce And Industries (France)

Niklas Ridoff, CEO, (Sweden)

Tamuna Kakhidze, Chief specialist, Department of Tourism
Product and Infrastructure Development, Georgian National
Tourism Administration (Georgina)

Panel 3. Action plan – Challenges of Wine Tourism Training

Eduardo Fonseca, Vice Chancellor for Research and Internationalization, Universidad de La Rioja

Eduardo de Diego, Director of Communication and Head of International Relations, Federación Española del Vino

Paula Sousa, Wine Tourism Consultant, Lisbon School of
Economics & Management (Portugal)

Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, Chief Destineer, Destinate (South Africa)

Watch this space for Part 11 which will include new ideas and solutions the panel members have come up with, and published via report and/or research in the near future.

New Index “WB Stock Index (WBIX)” Tracks Performance of Public Wine Companies

A new tool rooted in publicly traded wine companies and offering insights into the health of the wine sector has launched on

The WB Stock Index (WBIX) is a composite metric representing a portfolio of 13 publicly traded wine companies, weighted by each company’s annual wine revenue. The index reflects the daily percentage change in stock price at the end of the previous business day according to the significance of each producer in the marketplace.

The baseline for the index is Jan. 1, 2020, a time of strong performance by other indices and well before the onset of pandemic disruptions. The index stood at 119.02 as of March 1, indicating that publicly traded vintners have seen fortunes strengthen during the pandemic. The market’s confidence in the sector as a whole remains high. The index is intended to provide a snapshot in time and help benchmark a company’s performance against its peers. Performance can vary depending on the interval chosen, meaning a comparison across several intervals can be helpful.

Some of the strongest performers have been the luxury wine companies LVMH and Pernod Ricard, which have both performed well as aspirational and discretionary spending remained strong over the past year. LVMH’s share price has increased 28% over the past year to $170.45 while Pernod Ricard’s increased 3% to $42.22. The gains continued in the latest three months, with LVMH up 14% and Pernod Ricard up 7%, underscoring the long-term momentum underpinning each company.

The least fortunate company among those tracked by the index has been Vintage Wine Estates, which has seen its share price fall 83% versus a year ago to $1.39, with much of the slide registered in the past three months after the company restated earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2023, released preliminary numbers for the second quarter that projected lower than expected revenue and gross margins for the year, and withdrew guidance on expectations for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. The company also made a change at CEO with founding partner Pat Roney moving to the role of executive chairman and Director Jon Moramarco assuming the role of interim CEO. Moramarco is also the editor of the Gomberg Fredrikson Report and founder of bw166. On March 10, the company announced it had sold a 42-acre vineyard in Napa Valley for $11 million to reduce its overall debt. Following the sale, Vintage reported it owns approximately 1,600 acres of vineyards and leases an additional 800 acres.

Vintage is significant enough to influence the index but not sway it. Two of the largest components are instead LVMH and domestic vintner Constellation Brands, which has increased 2% over the past year but fallen 11% in the latest three months as its most recent earnings report underwhelmed the investment community. This is in line with the challenges other public companies have seen.

While a value decline can indicate a lack of confidence by the markets, it also creates a buying opportunity for long-term investors. The Duckhorn Portfolio, for example, has underperformed the index with a 19% drop in its share price over the past year. Currently trading in the range of $14.99, its shares have ranged between $12.64 and $22.29 over the past 52 weeks. Despite a lower price, several analysts have maintained a buy rating on the stock, an expectation that its share price will increase and reward investors. Bank of America analysts are among them, while Barclays upgraded its rating on the stock because of its latest earnings report.

This is in contrast with response to shifts in Vintage’s stock price, where sentiment has shifted in favor of “sell” from a uniform “buy” rating a year ago. Canaccord Genuity Group is among the bears, noting that it had more questions than answers about the company’s financials and future.

When it comes to public perception, however, the market is largely in favor of the wine sector. WBIX has outperformed the S&P 500, rising nearly 4% over the past year as the S&P 500 fell nearly 7%. The latest three months have seen it increase 2%, or twice the growth posted by the S&P 500.

Link to Index:

Source:  Wine Business