Q&A: Albino Armani, president, Consorzio Delle Venezie DOC

We quizzed Albino Armani, owner of top Pinot Grigio producer by the same name and president of the Consorzio Delle Venezie DOC, on sales trends before, during, and beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

Albino is owner of Azienda Albino Armani

How important is Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie within your portfolio? 

Our flagship product in terms of volume and production is the Pinot Grigio DOC delle Venezie.

How are your Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie sales at the moment – which markets is it performing most strongly in and which new markets would you like to break into with it? 

Despite the serious international economic and health situation due to the Covid-19, our company records sales volumes in balance with previous years. Our main market remains the USA, but our hopes and intentions are to enter with Delle Venezie DOC also in England, Russia and Asia and, no less, to improve the performances in the domestic market.

Is there a lot of variety of styles and expressions of Pinot Grigio within the Delle Venezie DOC?

The Pinot Grigio of the Northeast of Italy represents a mosaic of styles and expressions interconnected with each other, in an incredibly wide territory that is ‘embraced’ by the great Delle Venezie DOC. But it is above all the individual and small local DOCs that best represent the specificity of their respective territories, such as, for instance, the Valdadige, Trentino, Friuli and Collio DOCs.

Has the introduction of the DOC helped a lot in terms of quality control and / or sales?

With the transition to DOC from the previous IGT – a transition that began in 2017 with the definitive cessation of the IGT bottling starting from 1 August 2018 – and with the relative control of all stages of the production chain, strict tasting commissions and the presence of the government seal, the Consorzio was definitely able to guarantee a future of quality and certification, consumer protection and repositioning on the markets.  

How have you managed your business during the current pandemic?

Sales volumes since the creation of the DOC, i.e. for three years now, have been constantly growing even during the current crisis. Albino Armani has had a remarkable push forward, creating a new internal distribution company to both optimize the relationship with the end customer and manage the online market professionally and directly; moreover, through a new ambitious project, we will be able to manage the flow of tourists coming to visit our cellars; we will soon announce the acquisition of new vineyards in Friuli, Valdadige and Trentino and, plus, we have increased the storage capacity of our cellars. Last but not least, we have developed two new brands – Claps and Ascendum – in addition to the historic Albino Armani.

And what are your hopes for the future of Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie? 

Our hopes are to continue to see Pinot Grigio in vogue on the world market: the Delle Venezie appellation represents the first Pinot Grigio consumed in the world, in terms of volume. The Consortium has a great responsibility towards the international consumer, which is to constantly watch over the quality of our Pinot Grigio. 

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