Press Releases 2016

Note by the Italian Wine & Food Institute


New York, May 9  –  After a particularly positive start to the year, U.S. wine imports, which in the first two months of 2016 recorded a substantial increase of 31.5% in quantity and 15.3% in value, have now stabilized.

According to data released today by the Italian Wine & Food Institute, U.S. imports amounted to  2,266,550 hectoliters with a value of $938,620,00 in the first quarter of the year against the 2,080,760 hectoliters with a value of $865,319,000 recorded for the same period last year, an increase of 8.9% in quantity and 8.5% in value.

In this context, Italian wine maintains its leadership position in the market with an increase of 3% in quantity and 2% in value.

These percentages, according to President of the Italian Wine & Food Institute Lucio Caputo, are even more positive, albeit contained, when considering the contrasting, rapid changes currently occurring in the market: Chile jumped to second place in the market with an increase of 40%; Argentina dropped to the fifth position with a decrease of 25%; and France rose to fourth place with an increase of 30.5%.

The reason for these variations is due to the notable reduction in the U.S. import of Australian and Argentinian bulk wine (respectively -39.3% and -44.5%), and the increase in the import of bulk wine from Chile (68.7%), which, according to Caputo, denotes the volatility of this type of imports and the tendency of American producers who use these wines to import them from countries that offer, at that moment, the best conditions in the quality-price ratio.

Overall, Italian imports rose from 575,970 hectoliters with a value of $296,224,000 in the first quarter of 2015 to 593,370 hectoliters with a value of $301,914,000 in the corresponding period of 2016.

The market share of imported wines from Italy amounted to 26.2% in quantity and 32.2% in value while the average price per bottle remained stable at $5.30.

Imports from Chile, the second exporter to the U.S market, increased from the 307,550 hectoliters with a value of $59,985,000 in the first quarter of 2015 to 429,120 hectoliters with a value of  $64,694,000 in the first quarter of 2016.

Imports from Australia, the third largest supplier to the U.S. market, amounted to 399,220 hectoliters with a value of $95,218,000 against the 398,490 hectoliters with a value of $97,847,000 recorded in the corresponding period of last year.

Imports from France, the fourth exporter to the U.S. market, increased from 192,720 hectoliters with a value of $171,578,000 in the first quarter of 2015, to 251,460 hectoliters with a value of $207,173,000 in the corresponding period of this year. This growth is also indicative of the price reduction policy, which has recently shown positive results.

Imports from Argentina, the fifth largest supplier to the U.S. market, decreased from the 258,510 hectoliters with a value $67,186,000 in the first quarter of 2015 to 194,520 hectoliters with a value of $61,919,000 in the first quarter of 2016.

According to the note of the IWFI, the trend remains positive for exports of Italian sparkling wine, which recorded an increase of 8.8% in quantity and 25.4% in value, with a market share of 57.9% in quantity and 36% in value.

For further details on the U.S. wine imports:



New York, February 22 – With the participation of over 300 of the most famous and important American wine and food editors, the 31st edition of the GALA ITALIA took place on February 18th at The Pierre Hotel in New York.

The challenging and prestigious event reached an unprecedented success as it celebrated leading personalities who have dedicated their lives and careers to food and wine. Their accomplishments were further underlined by the president of the Italian Wine & Food Institute, Lucio Caputo, during his widely-applauded welcome remarks, in which he also highlighted the success achieved by Italian wine in the U.S., with over 3.5 million hectoliters for a value of $1.5 billion exported to the U.S. in 2015.

This year, the GALA ITALIA featured a tasting of select wines from major Italian wineries (particularly those that appeal more successfully in the American market) and a Gala Dinner composed of nine great wines paired with a five-course menu, which was specially designed to give maximum emphasis to the wines. Throughout the evening, awards were presented to some of the personalities who have contributed most to the affirmation of Italian wines.

Receiving the Italian Wine Excellence Award to the applause of more than three hundred guests crowding The Pierre Hotel’s elegant Ballroom – was Adam Strum, Publisher and Editor of Wine Enthusiast, who, after taking a trip to Verona with Dr. Caputo to visit Vinitaly (in the 1980s), discovered Italian wine, which he has since then always emphasized.

The Wine Leader Awards were presented to John Mariani, the well-known journalist and author of best-selling books, including How Italian Food Conquered the World; Florence Fabricant, the famous New York Times reporter and icon of American journalism; and Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW, the director of the International Wine Center and the first American woman to be awarded the title of Master of Wine. Among the restaurateurs rewarded were Sirio Maccioni, who has elevated Italian gastronomy to unprecedented levels, and Fabio Granato, who, with Vittorio Assaf, spread high-quality Italian wine and food across the world through their restaurant Serafina.

In their remarks, all the award recipients stressed that Italian wines have become part of their lives and thanked the IWFI President for giving them, over the years, the opportunity to discover and appreciate them. Particularly flattering were the comments made by Wine Enthusiast Editor Adam Strum.

With tickets selling out a week in advance, the GALA ITALIA was strictly reserved to the most qualified American wine and food press, and thus saw the presence of the hundreds of the most important TV and print journalists, including guests from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, as well as many distinguished authorities, such as Consul Isabella Periotto and FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

In addition to the wines presented during the Wine & Food Tasting, guests were served nine high-quality wines that were briefly illustrated by the wineries’ representatives, all of whom had  travelled to New York to attend the dinner.

The wines were presented in following order: Ferrari, Riserva Lunelli, Trento DOC, 2006;  Planeta, Chardonnay, Sicilia IGT, 2014; Tenuta Santa Caterina, Silente delle Marne, Monferrato Bianco DOC 2013; Marchesi Antinori, Villa Antinori Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, 2011;  Tenute Lunelli, Carapace, Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG, 2008; Condè, Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Riserva, 2008; Mezzacorona, NOS Teroldego Rotaliano DOC Riserva, 2007; Bertani, Villa Arvedi, Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena DOCG, 2012 and Sorrentino, Fior di Ginestre, Passito IGT Pompeiano, 2011.

Three thousand Luigi Bormioli Parma glasses were placed on top of special “Glass Mats” on the guests’ tables and illuminated by candlelight, giving a beautiful ambience to the ballroom and further emphasizing the wines.

The dinner was enhanced by a presentation of men’s fashion house, Eredi Pisanò of Rome, which enjoys great success in the American market thanks to its stylish, high-quality manufacturing.

Further emphasizing the importance of the GALA ITALIA – the longest running “Made in Italy” promotional event in the world (excluding fairs) – Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio provided a personal message offering his “many thanks” to and congratulating the Italian Wine & Food Institute, the participating companies, the journalists and the prestigious award-winning personalities.

A polished, colorful program detailing all the information on the event was specially prepared for GALA ITALIA.

The GALA ITALIA was organized by the Italian Wine & Food Institute under the patronage of the Italian Ambassador to Washington, and under the sponsorship of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the ICE – Italian Trade Agency.


NOTE: A wide selection of photos are available at:

and can be downloaded. Higher-resolution images can be requested.

The IWFI website also features the 12 pages evening’s program

and the letter from the Mayor:


Click HERE to download this press release



31st Edition on February 18 at The Pierre Hotel in New York




Wine & Food Tasting – Gala Dinner – Awards Ceremony – Fashion Show

Great Wines – Excellent Food – Fashion Presentation

and Awards to the Architects Behind the Success of Italian Wine in the USA


New York, January 21, 2016 – – In constant renewal, to always stay ahead, the 2016 edition of GALA ITALIA will have a new look, as made known today by the president of the Italian Wine & Food Institute, Lucio Caputo, who, for over 30 years, has been organizing the prestigious event in support of Made in Italy.

The protagonists of the next edition will be the Italian wines (by now a consolidated tradition), as well as the most qualified and prestigious American Wine & Food Editors who greatly helped make these wines famous.

In its new format, GALA ITALIA will combine the traditional Wine and Food Tasting with an elegant Gala Dinner featuring exceptional wines and courses of high-quality cuisine. During the Gala Dinner, a selected number of prestigious producers will present and illustrate to guests their various wines, all of which were specifically selected for the event.

Following this dinner of the highest-quality gastronomy, an awards ceremony will be held in honor of some of the most well-known American wine and food editors and industry leaders: those who in past years have contributed the most to the extraordinary success of Italian wine in the U.S. market where it continues to hit new record highs.

Among the award recipients: Adam Strum, publisher and editor of Wine Enthusiast, which has always given prominence to Italian wines and awarded some of the most qualified Italian producers; John Mariani, the well-known journalist and author of best-selling books, including “How Italian Food Conquered the World”; Florence Fabricant, the famous journalist of the New York Times and an icon of American journalism; Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW, the first American to earn the title of Master of Wine, director of the International Wine Center; Sirio Maccioni, who raised Italian cuisine to unprecedented levels; and Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato, whose restaurant Serafina has spread Italian cuisine and wines throughout the world.

The Gala Dinner will be complemented by an informal presentation of men’s fashion by a famous Italian fashion house currently enjoying considerable success in the U.S. market.

The entire event will be held in the elegant salons of The Pierre Hotel – a cult of American elegance – in Manhattan, a fitting backdrop to the best of Italy in the U.S.

GALA ITALIA, in its new format, is organized by the IWFI and is held under the high patronage of the Italian Ambassador to Washington, and with the sponsorship of the Ministry for Economic Development and ICE  – Italian Trade Agency.

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