From May 9 to the end of June, during the commercial breaks of the best-loved Italian cooking shows in the US (Molto Mario, Everyday Italian and Giada at Home), a young, fresh spot will be aired. Francesco Zonin, 36-year-old executive vice president of the Zonin winery whose responsibilities include overseeing sales and marketing, thinks the ad mirrors the product. "A young wine for the young and young at heart," notes Zonin who is the public face of the company and in the ad produced by the group itself, he makes a personal appearance. "Excellent as an aperitif, it is also the perfect choice with a wide range of dishes."
For some time, Costanza Rizzacasa has been an international hit, exported to seventy countries on five continents by the Gambellara winery, wine-makers for nearly two centuries. "But the market with the greatest potential for this product is the United States. Until a few years ago, US performance was negligible, but now its trends are truly surprising," says Zonin. "That is why we have chosen to be increasingly active in promoting our prosecco so that it can become a point-of-reference there, as it is in Germany where we are no. 1."
In fact, the US has been, for some time, the primary foreign market for Zonin, showing constant growth. This point is stressed by the youngest of cavalier Gianni's three sons, Michele Zonin, age 33, who is responsible for the financial aspects of the company, while first-born Domenico is vice president with special responsibilities in supervising technological and enological aspects. "In 2010, sales of Zonin USA, the subsidiary which buys and markets our products [there is also a Zonin UK, and the next in line will be Brazil - eds.], hit 32 million dollars," reports Michele Zonin.
And proof of its fundamental presence on the US market can be seen by the fact that the company was recently awarded the William B. Darden Award - Supplier of the Year, from among 1,500 suppliers around the globe. Zonin exports, whose 32% in 2010 represents 60% of 107 million euro turnover (+14.5%), totaling 28 million bottles. "It is a general trend in the market: from the opening of the frontiers to products of increasingly higher quality and the difficult situation currently in Italy with consumption down from 40 to 35 liters per capita," says Michele Zonin.
In May, with a campaign developed by Cernuto Pizzigoni & Partners, Zonin will be launching a new line of wines under the Collezione Francesco Zonin label. "It will range from Merlot in the north to Nero d'Avola in the south, stopping over in central Italy with a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo - our vine species throughout the entire boot," explains Francesco Zonin. "For the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, we decided to offer wine-lovers a line of wines through which to discover the unique heritage of this country." The company has focused on the quality/price ratio, setting the cost of a bottle between 4-5 euros. "The collection will be available only on the Italian market until the end of the year and then will be exported abroad," Zonin adds.
A third project will be launched directly in the United States where, this summer, at One Madison Avenue in New York, the Gustavo wine bar will open, in a joint venture with Principe di San Daniele SpA prosciutto. "It involves activating the QR code on the back label of the bottles to access all Zonin's vineyards and a wealth of original content." Including recipes of famous American chefs to prepare gourmet dishes using Zonin wines.