The restaurant industry is one of the important sales channels for Italian wine, but the relationship between the two is not a simple one. Recently, Wine Meridian journalist Fabio Piccoli and Witaly-Porzioni Cremona critic Luigi Cremona reported in a survey that more than half of the upstream wineries and producers are not satisfied with the relationship with the Horeca (hotel restaurant and coffee bar) channel.
Image courtesy of: ItalianWine.com
The main conflict between upstream wineries, producers and the restaurant channel centers on the selection of wine brands for restaurant wine lists. For years, the restaurant industry has been criticized for focusing its wine lists on the big, well-known brands and lacking local, niche boutique brands. The report points out that this phenomenon is caused by a combination of laziness in the restaurant industry and a lack of innovation in the wine industry.
From the restaurant industry"s perspective, with 46,000 wineries in Italy, it would be an impossible task for a restaurant wine list to encompass every winery. As a result, many restaurants serve wines based on the recommendations of staff, distributors and agents, or base their wine lists on the owner's personal preferences, without sufficient knowledge of the wineries, or even adequate wine knowledge.
From the perspective of upstream wineries, they are investing more and more in exhibitions and various events, and less and less in promotion in the Horeca channel. Few wineries are able to do regular promotions in restaurants and wine stores. The restaurant industry and the wine industry communicate very little and do not understand each other, which also affects the sales of wines.
This year's epidemic has limited the normal business of the restaurant industry and has dealt a huge blow to wine sales in this go-to channel (especially mid- to high-end wines). In the future, the relationship between the restaurant industry and wineries will be even more complex.