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2019 closes on excellent results for Gallo Nero wines, while 2020 makes an auspicious start, with the success of the latest harvest: a classic vintage year with slightly above average quantities thanks to very even weather trends. The wines in the cellars, destined to become the 2019 Chianti Classicos, already show plenty of promise in terms of quality: fresh-tasting and harmonious, thanks to well-balanced acidity and tannins, with nicely concentrated texture and excellent aromas.
Financially, 2019 was a very positive year for the designation’s wines. At the close of business last year, sales were still slightly higher than the previous year, and this trend has continued in January 2020 (+10% compared to January 2019). Generally speaking, the overall value of the designation is increasing, starting with the grapes: the market price per quintal from the 2019 harvest was 10% higher than the previous year, offering greater profits to grape-growing estates that do not bottle their wines.
As far as bottled wines are concerned, the “premium” types of Chianti Classico – Riserva and Gran Selezione – are also growing in both value and sales volume. In 2019 these two types jointly accounted for 42% of production and 55% of the turnover (source: Maxidata). Gran Selezione performed particularly well, with a 15% increase in sales compared to the previous year.
Looking at the Chianti Classico markets, while we wait and see whether or not the threat of import/export taxes will materialise, the USA is once again the top market, as it has been for over 15 years: over one-third of Chianti Classico bottles are sold in America (34% of total sales); holding second place is the domestic market, which currently accounts for 22% of total Chianti Classico sales. Next is Canada in third place (10%), which has proved a very rewarding market in recent years.
With or without Brexit, the United Kingdom is a growing market, currently in fourth place (7%): the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico will continue to invest here in 2020 with various events and promotional activities. Next among the consolidated markets is Germany (6%), also the object of specific focus for the Consortium’s marketing strategy. After Germany, come Scandinavia, Switzerland, and Japan.
“We are very satisfied with Chianti Classico’s strongly held position on international markets,” says Giovanni Manetti, Chairman of the Consortium, “and particularly the positive trend in the US and Canada, as well as the steady business from all the other traditional Gallo Nero wine markets. We also appreciate the results from the domestic market, which reward our many efforts towards relaunching the designation over the years, culminating in the introduction of Gran Selezione, the new type of Chianti Classico, onto the market in 2014. But there is still plenty that can and must be done, and one of my main goals as Chairman is to further promote the designation while continuing to consolidate its value and image in the sector of fine wines worldwide“.
The Consortium’s research into Gallo Nero sales reveals that Chianti Classico can boast a highly unusual penetration of the market; while sales remain strongly concentrated on traditional markets, Gallo Nero wines also reach unexpected destinations beyond the usual trade routes and in all continents: the DOC wines are distributed across over 130 countries worldwide.
“For some years the Consortium has been investing in enhancing its traditional markets with innovative activities, enabling us to gain an increasingly steady and widespread presence across the various countries” says Chairman Manetti. “As far as possible we will try not to neglect anyone: every country is important for Chianti Classico and thanks to more detailed knowledge of sales trends and prices on the various markets, 2020 will be a year in which we will create even more personalised and targeted activities, to make sure the strategic markets like Germany, England or far-off Japan continue to grow, as well as opening new outlets and conquering new consumer categories in still-emerging markets”.
The Consortium’s goal is to establish a stable and equal income for the whole network, an indispensable factor in medium-long term business planning and a fundamental element in the process of increasing the designation’s overall value. The positive financial overview is the result of an ongoing pursuit of quality: attention to the compatibility of our winegrowing practice with the ecosystem of the Chianti Classico region is a key to guaranteeing this highly suitable area a long life. The area will benefit further from the activities of the Distretto Rurale del Chianti (created in May 2019) and UNESCO World Heritage candidacy for the landscape.
Lastly, it should be remembered that the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico is Italy’s oldest producers’ association, now 96 years old, and one of the most active on the national and international overview: there are currently 515 members, 354 of which are wine estates presenting their own labels on the market.
The estimated overall turnover for the Chianti Classico area is about 800 million euro and the total value of our bottled wines over 400 million euro.