The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2012

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Page 37 of 132

Capitol Ideas O FERRARI AND OTHER ITALIAN WINE PRODUCERS CONVENE WITH MEMBERS OF CONGRESS n July 19, Italian sparkling wine producer Ferrari and a selection of other prominent Italian producers met on Capitol Hill for the first time with U.S. lawmakers for a cultural exchange on wine and to discuss issues related to the wine sector. The Italian Ambassador to the U.S., Claudio Bisogniero hosted the event in cooperation with the Congressional Wine Caucus. The bipartisan Wine Caucus, co-chaired by Congressmen Mike Thompson and Dan Lungren, is active in educating members of Congress on federal regulatory and legislative develop- ments pertaining to the wine industry. The hosts welcomed Giovanni Mantovani (CEO of VeronaFiere) and select wine producers Matteo Lunelli (Ferrari), Cristina Mariani-May (Castello Banfi), Marilisa Allegrini (Allegrini), Daniela Mastroberardino (Terredora), Luca Paschina (Barboursville Vineyards/ Casa Vinicola Zonin) and Odila Galer-Noel (Gruppo Italiano Vini–GVI) in Washington, D.C. "It has been a great honor for me to represent Italian wine before the U.S. Congress and to bring Ferrari to Capitol Hill," said Matteo Lunelli, Chairman of Ferrari. "I believe that it is key to engage in ongoing edu- cational activities aimed at promoting the culture of quality wine and of Italian sparkling wines in particular, as they are Left to right: Odila Galer-Noel (Gruppo Italiano Vini–GVI), Cristina Mariani-May (Castello Banfi), Matteo Lunelli (Cantine Ferrari), Stevie Kim (VinitalyTour), Rep. Mike Thompson (Congressional Wine Caucus), Marilisa Allegrini (Allegrini), Daniela Mastroberardino (Terredora), Luca Paschina (Barboursville Vineyard / Casa Vinicola Zonin) and Edoardo Pucci (Italian Embassy). expressions of a variety of different production methods and regions." The bipartisan Congressional Wine Caucus was established in 1999 and brings together nearly 200 members of Congress representing all 50 states. The wine industry contributes an estimated $162 billion to the U.S. economy annually and provides the equivalent of 1.1 million full-time jobs. Wine exports in particular have experienced significant growth, with a record $1.4 billion in winery revenues in 2010. According to the Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero, "In the last three years, Italian wine has increased its leadership in the U.S. against its major competitors, reaching $1.5 billion in 2011. This outstanding performance is the result of the excellent relations that have been established in recent years between Italian and U.S. authorities. At the same time, it proves the competitive- ness of Italian wine in terms of quality and pricing and lays the foundation for Italy to remain the leading exporter of wine to the U.S." According to Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of VeronaFiere, organizer of Vinitaly, the largest international wine exhibition, "The U.S. represents perhaps the most important market for Italian wines, as 28 percent of all wine imported to the USA in 2011 came from Italy." Imported by Vineyard Brands, Inc. Birmingham, AL. september 2012 / the tasting panel / 37

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