There are many ways to improve the performance of Italian Wines in Brazilian Market
Michele Shah interviews Arthur Piccolomini de AzevedoArthur Piccolomini de Azevedo began his studies on wine in 1991, first self-taught, attending wine fraternities. Later, in 1997, joined the Brazilian Association of Sommeliers-SP, where he made his professional training in wines in all courses offered by the organization.
Since 2006 holds the position of Course Director, responsible for the Professional Sommeliers training course as well as other courses of ABS-SP.
In 2000 he began his professional activity in the wine industry as a consultant for various importers. He was, for five years, editor and columnist of Wine Style magazine. Presently he is a columnist for TAM nas Nuvens magazine as well as for several other publications in Brazil, besides a collaborator for international books such as The World Atlas of Wine 6th Edition (Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson) and Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine. He is also editor of the website Artwine (www.artwine.com.br) and consultant for Artwine Wine Consulting.
How do you view the potential of Italian wine in Brasil in terms of market potenti al?
I think that Italian Wines have a huge potential in Brazilian Market, since they have a very good image and an effective distribution all over the country and widely available in all kinds of store (Supermarkets, specialized shops), restaurant wine lists and other places that sells wines. And is important to say that the Italian Colony is very large in the country, fact that is important for the market of Italian wines in Brazil.
How do you think Italian producers can improve their performance in the Brasilian market? What do you suggest?
There are many ways to improve the performance of Italian Wines in Brazilian Market - seminar for sommeliers, active participation in official professional wine courses of Brazilian Association of Sommeliers (ABS) all over the year and in a regular bases, specific courses of different Italian Wine Regions, tasting for professionals, and, in the case of wines that already are in Brazil, tastings for final consumers and participation in wine fairs like Expovinis (a fair that is in a process of change of target and maybe next year will be in a different format - we do not know yet what will happen, and have to wait the official position of the new administrators).
What do yo think of the quality:price ratio of Italian wines in the Brasilian market?
We have all levels of price of Italian Wines in Brazil - very expensive to very cheap, and of course, all range of quality/price ratios, since the very good to the very unfriendly for the consumer. There is a general perception that the Sicilian Wines are very good deals for the consumer, being cheap for the high quality they offer. On the opposite side, wines from other famous regions of Italia has been classified as expensive for what they offer.
What qualities do you personally appreciate most in Italian wines?
For me, the major attribute of Italian Wines is diversity, due to the spectacular array of indigenous grapes an different styles, being very easy to find the appropriate wine for matching any food and to find the right wine for any specific occasion.
How do you view Sicily's region and its wines in terms of market potential - if you like you can also mention in addition to wine, food and tourism?
I think that the market for Sicilian Wines has still a large space to grown, since they were not yet fully known by the consumer that, until now, only recognizes the wines made with french grapes, and, more recently the wines made with Nero d'Avola. The tourism in Sicily need more publicity and I think that it will be necessary an specific work with travel agents to promote it. Also, I think that the very good Sicilian Cuisine must have an special attention, with more publicity and wine dinners to final consumers to show all the quality and purity of the dishes.
Please mention the potential of white varieties and the red varieties:
In Brazil there is a large advantage of Red Wine on White Wines (90% to 10%), and we are working hard to change this very unusual and unexplained situation. If you think only in Brazilian climate, it becomes clear that there are many opportunities to consume white wine, since we have, in general, a warm climate and a lot of beautiful beaches, but, in this matter, the (lack of) culture is something we must overcome in the future. A lot of work is waiting for us...
What is your advice to Sicilian producers looking to enter your market?
I think that there is no mystery in this task: show the wines, teach about the particularity of Sicilian Wines, focus (at least at the beginning of the work) in the more known grapes, link the wines with the places and the food of Sicily, promote wine travels for specialized journalists and opinion makers, find good and solid importers and give them the tools for promoting the wines all over Brazil.
How can the ABS in Brazil make a difference to assisting Sicilian wines enter the Brasilian market?
The Brazilian Association of Sommeliers is an organization who gives Professional Courses for the Formation of Sommeliers, as well as courses for non-professional persons (final consumers). We can promote Sicilian Wines in many ways, as we did with the wines of Vinho Verde, for whom we did a Road Show in many places all over the country. We can also organize tastings conducted by very skilled professionals and show Sicilian Wines in a very special way. We can also participate in wine dinners and tastings for final consumers, using our very large mailing list as an important tool to promote the actions. All this programs are realized on behalf and responsability of Brazilian Association of Sommeliers - São Paulo, where I am Executive-Director and External Events and Courses Coordinator.