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Q&A: Federico Gordini, Milano Wine Week founder and president

Milano Wine Week 2022 will be taking place from 8 to 16 October. Its founder and president, Federico Gordini tells the drinks business about what the fifth edition of the festival has in store for wine lovers the world over.

After the lockdowns of recent years, how does it feel to have the city open to visitors for this event?
“It’s a wonderful feeling to see Milan return to its lively, bustling nature. Starting in mid-year, we’ve seen a huge influx in tourism, with significant indicators – such as an unprecedented number of visitors to the city’s museums – that are even more important to us from the perspective of our festival. Our event is strongly rooted in the city, combining the wine world with Milan’s amazing offering in terms of culture, venues, style, and much, much more.”

What can foreign visitors expect to find when they arrive in the city?
“Milan has so much to offer any international visitor, not just wine enthusiasts. But for wine professionals, it provides the opportunity to not only experience a vast programme of high-quality tasting, business, and networking activities, but to do so just steps away from landmarks such as the Duomo, style and fashion meccas such as Via Monte Napoleone, and a huge proffering of catering and cultural venues. As opposed to most fairs, which take place outside city centres, Milano Wine Week’s strength comes from its location, rooted in the heart of one of the most interesting and lively cities on the global landscape.”

What are you particularly looking forward to this year?
“This year’s programme of events is truly jam-packed, but there are a few stand-out features that will make MWW2022 an incredible edition, starting with the addition of a new venue, Palazzo Serbelloni, which joins Palazzo Bovara in hosting the headquarters of the festival. A truly stunning historic building in the heart of the city, Palazzo Serbelloni will offer a wide range of events and activities for consumers and professionals, and its courtyard will be transformed with different experiences and installations, from daily tastings devoted to different wine consortia, talks, pairings, workshops, exhibitions and much more.

Our headquarters are definitely not the only place to enjoy MWW events, however: the entire city gets involved in the festivities, and this year some of the most interesting experiences will strongly feature the link between wine and Milan’s architectural and cultural offering, from the Chianti wine boat – imagine cruising along Leonardo’s [Da Vinci] Navigli channels while enjoying a range of fine reds – to special concerts, plus tastings in some of the city’s most picturesque locations. Each wine district – some of the city’s most popular neighbourhoods, paired with Italy’s leading consortia – will also host a special walkaround tasting in which visitors will have the chance to explore the borough and enjoy special tasting activities in local venues. And, of course, our programme of masterclasses for professionals is still the largest in Italy, with daily tastings featuring some of the most authoritative and admired Italian winemakers, experts and opinion makers.”

How are you offering overseas audiences a taste of Milan?
“MWW’s international programme was born out of necessity, to tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic, but it quickly developed into an outstanding opportunity for wineries to access time and resource-saving modes of interacting with the international wine industry. The common element between the events we host in Milan and our international tastings is the utmost quality level upheld in each venue, also thanks to the support of our local partners, such as the drinks business in London and Hong Kong, who help us ensure that the experiences offered across the world share the same standards, exclusivity, and value as the goings-on in Milan.”

What keeps you excited when working on the event each year?
“The challenge of working to make a bigger, better edition each year is certainly exciting. Through the past five years, the challenge has been made even more significant by the specific conditions we’ve had to face: the pandemic first, and the uncertain international context now, with many wineries having a harder time planning their marketing strategy or allocating a budget on promotional activities, in the face of the recent increases in expenses for raw materials and energy. Nonetheless, this has made finding a way to grow and improve each year even more stimulating and led our team to become more proactive. This year’s edition will evolve the event, both in terms of what it has to offer for consumers and for professionals, but it will be up to our audience to be the judge of everything Milano Wine Week has to offer, so come join us.”

To find out more about the MWW masterclasses db is running, click here.

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