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News Lunedi 24 Febbraio 2014

Finland: statistics show that Italian wines are 4th place after Chile, Spain and South Africa.

Michele Shah interviews Timo Jokinen ,a freelance wine, food and travel writer, wine lecturer, educator, winery owner, trade consultant for over 20 years

di Michele Shah

Where are Italian wines positioned in your market?
Statistics show that Italian wines are 4th place after Chile, Spain and South Africa. Italian white and red wine has declined last year but sparkling wines have had over 10 % sales increase. This is of course not the only truth, since big volumes are bought and carried from Estonia as well as imported directly from wineries.

Which Italian wines sell best in your market and why?
Red wine Doppio Passo Primitivo – BIB 3 liter, white wine Montalto Cataratto Viognier – BIB 3 liter and sparkling Gancia Asti Dolce. these are best selling Italian wines in Finland. All easy drinking and "cheap".
Over 60 % of volumes sold by monopoly are bag-in-box wines.

What would you suggest to Italian wineries
A bit more noise at market places, tasting together with other wineries. To start small volume business is better that not to start at all.

How do you view the Trentino region in terms of market potential - wine, food and tourism?
Trentino region has good image in Finland and probably regional arm should be more active on marketing. Haven´t seen any activities to marketing the region in Finland. Wines from the region have good potential but rather difficult sector mainly because of the high prices. Food producers should also be more active and it is important to note nowadays Finnish people are very interested to purchase even food by internet and use courier services to receive the goods quickly.

What is your perception of the potential of Trentino's wines in your market and in international markets? Please mention potential of white varieties and the red varieties:
In Finland I believe Pinot Grigio, Traminer and Nosiola varietals would be well received as well as red Marzemino and Teroldego. If I think Asian market and especially Thailand then Teroldego and Traminer wouild be the winners if we have wine-drinkers opinion. This all needs tasting and presentations in both countries.

Where are Trentino wines positioned in your market?
Being monopoly country we can see only shelves from monopoly ALKO shops. And there we find mainly big producers as 4 products of Mezzacorona, 3 products from Cavit, Cantine Atesine, Cantina Terlan, Nals-Margreid, Colterenzio, Kellerei Bozen - St.Magdalena, La Vis and 2 from Tenuta San Leonardo and 2 from Tiefenbrunner. Wines apart from Mezzacorona and Cavit are more or less non existing. Only few consumers who really know to pick up some of the others.
In HORECA sector some few restaurants have listed Trentino wines. Some huge chain restaurants as SOKOS have had for instance LaVis and Cavit products on great membership offers, where prices will be very close to the cost prices.

How do you think the Trentino producers can improve their performance in your market? What do you suggest?
I always propose producers to organize wine tasting events where consumers are able to taste the wines and make direct orders (if wines are not available at monopoly). Winelovers, -drinkers purchase their wines more and more thru internet directly from wineries or web-shops. Either alone or combining friends and neighbors orders and then either courier or mail services will receive the wines they want. The same is growing potential also for corporate clients as well as restaurants. Well working English speaking web-site helps lot. But even better would be couple trips to Finland and organized wine tasting events for wine club members, media and corporate clients. And of course same time to HORECA reps.

What do yo think of the quality:price ratio of the Trentino's wines?
Quality is medium to high, but prices are too high. It is different to sell consumers with a bit higher price, but for trade prices are too high. It is good to remember that if ex-cellar price is 5,00 € it will be monopoly retail shop more or less 15,00 € and wine list of restaurant ca 45,00 €. Prices have to be checked and also the only and best way is direct sales to consumers, companies, conferences etc