The event was the result of the collaboration between Italian national authorities and private bodies with the Italian embassy in China. The course stands as a follow up of last year visit to Italian vineyards by a number of Chinese sommeliers, bloggers, opinion makers, journalists and experts who are attending the course this year.
Italian wines are becoming more and more appreciated in China. As highlighted by recent figures, the import of Italian wines in China had a 32% increase in the first 6 months of 2016 compared to the same period during last year. Not only sparkling wines are imported but also still ones. Nevertheless, Italy needs to work hard to ascend the classification of the major wine exporter in China. At the moment, Italy has the 5th position, behind France, Australia, Chile and Spain.
On this topic, Amedeo Scarpa (director of ICE - the Italian agency for the promotion abroad and internationalization of Italian companies) has enthusiastically commented on Italy's need to challenge the other big wine exporters and declared "It is time to move on, take the challenge and this is just the beginning", he said to the Italian website AgiChina24. Scarpa's opinion was also strengthened by HE Ettore Sequi, the Italian Ambassador in Beijing, who highlighted that "This is the moment of Italian wine and Top Italian Wine & Spirits is a good chance to promote it".
The opening ceremony of the course commemorated the victims of the violent earthquake recently affecting central Italy and provoking more than 250 deaths. Augusto Massari, from the Italian Embassy in Beijing, has pointed out "his sympathy to all the Italians affected by the earthquake who will have to start over", expressing the solidarity of Italians in China for the tragic event.