A Meiningers Wine Business International, mais importante revista mundial sobre negócios do vinho, publicou no dia 10/09/2021 uma matéria minha com uma enquete na qual votaram grandes nomes do vinho no Brasil, para a escolha de destaques de nosso mercado nas categorias: IMPORTADORA, E-COMMERCE, JORNALISTA, MÍDIA e EVENTO.
A versão publicada está neste link: Who's Who in Brazil
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Who’s Who in Brazil
The South American giant country whose wine consumption grew mostly during the pandemic.
By Marcelo Copello
In the latest OIV report, released at the end of April 2021, a graphic caught everyone’s attention. According to the organization, among 22 countries with the highest global wine consumption, while eleven had seen a decrease in consumption such as China (-17%) and South Africa (-19%), Brazil was, by far, the country with the highest growth, recording an increase of 18% (see chart).
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According to Product Audit International, the largest import audit company operating in the beverage segment in Brazil, in 2021 this growth even continues accelerating. The rise in imports was no less than 43% up in the last 12 months, from July 2020 and June 2021. According to data from UVIBRA - União Brasileira de Vitivinicultura, the official entity for Brazilian wines, in the first half of 2021, the commercialization of domestic wines grew almost the same as imported ones: 41%.
Brazil has a population of 212 million inhabitants and still a low per capita wine consumption of just 2.0 liters in 2020, which leaves room for even greater growth. The biggest barriers here have always been price and culture. The wine here receives a high tax burden. It is estimated that, on average, a bottle reaches Brazilian shelves with a price multiplied by 5, in relation to its FOB price, depending on its origin and price range.
Another major barrier is the Brazilian's lack of wine culture, whose favorite drink is beer. Yet that has been changing, wine is in, and it gained momentum during the pandemic. According to data from Nielsen Consulting, which audits the retail market, wine reached 847,000 new homes in 2020, and in 92% of cases, it was replacing beer, Brazil's main competitor for wine.
The Brazilian market represents around 500 million liters in 2020, around 70% of which are Brazilian wines, which lead in the lowest price ranges, especially in wines up to US$4, retail. In imported products, the isolated leader for over 20 years has been Chile, which holds a 47% share, and in the first half of 2021 sent 3.8 million 9-liter cases to Brazil. Second place has been disputed by Portugal 16.5% and Argentina 15.8%. Then we have Italy (7%), Spain (5%), France (4%) and Uruguay (2%). The average import value of a 9-liter case was US$ 24.57 in 2020.
To choose the names highlighted in this article, we consulted 15 highly regarded members of the trade in an informal poll.
For this category only importers with strong presence in the On & Off trade channels were considered. Unlike mature markets where distribution is segmented, in Brazil many importers operate a multiple channel operation. Top names mentioned in the survey were Mistral, followed by Decanter Vinhos and World Wine, all of which have built a portfolio that excels in quality and possesses strong nationwide presence in the on-trade, direct sales to consumers and online channels.
Mistral was founded in 1973, and in 1991 was acquired by its current owner, Ciro Lilla, a great connoisseur, but like few others, had a vision of wine as a business. Mistral is one of the top ten importers in volume, but its focus is not quantity but quality. It has the largest and best wine portfolio in the country, with around 3,500 labels, with big names such as Vega Sicilia, Gaja, Catena, Drouhin, Feveley, among many others, living up to its slogan “Mistral, the importer of best wines”. If this colossal work was not enough, Ciro Lilla founded in 2007 another importer, Vinci, precisely to be able to expand and improve his portfolio. Mistral and Vinci (which already has 1,500 labels), operate nationwide, in all market segments, being strong in restaurants and in direct sales to consumers through their online channel, which grew considerably during the pandemic.
The Dot COM’s, a segment that in Brazil is largely dominated by two companies, Wine and Evino, leaving the others far behind.
Wine.com.br is the isolated leader in the wine E-commerce segment. Founded in 2008, the company now belongs to two financial groups and recently carried out a deal that made national media headlines, the acquisition of importer Cantú, for around US$ 35 million. Cantú, one of the Top Ten wine importers in volume, operates in traditional channels with more than 15,000 points of sale, thus placing the E-commerce giant in the offline world.
Wine has just released the financial result for the first half of 2021, and, together with Cantú, recorded a growth of 53.8% compared to 2020, with a net income of around US$ 57 million. Wine also entered the retail business and already has 13 wine stores throughout Brazil and is the world leader in wine clubs, with 270 thousand active subscribers.
Here we talk about professionals specialized in wine who work in offline media, online or social networks. In the poll, the most recognized wine journalist’s name was mine, Marcelo Copello, closely followed by Jorge Lucki.
These pair of deans, who have been operating for over 3 decades, left the others far behind. Other notable journalists mentioned were Suzana Barelli, Didú Russo, Ricardo Castilho, Pedro Mello e Souza, Marcel Miwa, Cecilia Aldaz e Choro da Videira.
Jorge Lucki and I debuted in the mainstream media in the same year, 2000 with weekly columns in competing companies, the two largest financial newspapers in the country. Lucki continues to write for Valor Econômico, while I used to write for Gazeta Mercantil, which ended its activities in 2009. Both of us operate daily radio shows, have published books, and are sought-after speakers.
I currently maintain a column in the largest generalist magazine in the country, Veja, in the Veja São Paulo and Veja Rio sections, in addition to multiple activities in the area of content and events.
Wine has become present in the Brazilian media in general whether on-line or online publications, specialized or not, with an enormous and growing weight in social media, notably Instagram, which has around 100 million users in Brazil. Those chosen as the most relevant, however, Prazeres da Mesa (followed by Adega, continue to be the off-line magazines specializing in wine and gastronomy.
Prazeres da Mesa magazine, founded in 2003, is the leader in the gastronomy segment, with a strong presence in the world of wine, with a select team of collaborators. The publication, which has national print distribution and a digital version, is also active in wine and gastronomy events across the country.
NOTABLE WINE EVENTS
Prior to the pandemic, wine events dominated the scene. This trend, which shifted to online like everywhere else, promised to return to in-person events globally in full force in the last months of 2021, especially for consumer events.
The first events mentioned in the survey were Rio Wine and Food Festival, Wine South America and ProWine São Paulo.
The first is a big wine festival, with 10 days of events around the city of Rio de Janeiro putting together over 70.000 people, focused mainly on consumers, while still having some events for professionals. The next edition, the 9th year, has not yet been scheduled due to the pandemic.
Wine South America and ProWein São Paulo are large trade fairs, branches respectively of Vinitaly and ProWein Dusseldorf.
Wine South America, which is going to its third edition, takes place in Bento Gonçalves, southern Brazil and the heart of domestic wine production. It has a strong presence of local wineries, but is also well-regarded by national and international trade. The event will not take place in 2021, but has already been scheduled for September 2022.
ProWein São Paulo, which had a pilot edition in 2019 under the name ProVino, has its first edition scheduled soon, in October of this year, generating expectations.
In a survey — still unpublished — that I conducted in Brazil, with 1,000 professionals and consumers with great involvement with wine, when asked when they intend to return to in-person wine events, the majority (33%) answered "only in 2022", followed by 15% responding that they intend to return in October, 13% in September, 6% in August, 6% in November and 5% in December.
NOTABLE SOMMELIRES AND RESTAURANTS
The bar and restaurant segment is one of those suffering the most in Brazil during the pandemic. Tens of thousands of establishments have closed their doors in the last year across the country. The segment, however, survives, adapts and renews itself, remaining extremely relevant to the wine market.
São Paulo is one of the gastronomy capitals of the world, with around 10,000 restaurants before the pandemic, several with Michelin stars and internationally awarded.
As a standout among sommeliers, Manoel Beato remains the biggest name, at the head of the Fasano restaurant, the cathedral of wine and gastronomy in São Paulo. Beato is a celebrity, with a radio show, books, and has just launched his wine club. Fasano's wine list is neither extensive nor filled with expensive wines, but its best customers bring very rare bottles from their private collections to be opened by Beato.
Other reference restaurants and sommeliers in São Paulo are the D.O.M., by Alex Atala, the most famous Brazilian chef in the world, who has a wine list led by sommelière Gabriela Monteleone, a lover of natural wines. O Maní, by the award-winning chef Helena Riso, with a wine list very well prepared by sommelière Gabriela Bigarelli. As a new talent, sommelière Camila Ciganda does not go unnoticed, doing a good job at Barú, a seafood restaurant, helping Brazilians discover white wines, as reds largely dominate the market.
Also noteworthy are the bars Bardega, which offers 96 labels in doses poured by Enomatic machines, and the Sede261, which is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, but will reopen in September. This wine bar, owned by sommelières Cassia Campos and Daniela Bravin, is a peculiar place, as it does not have a wine list and only has one table. Customers can sample the discoveries carefully curated by the owners standing on the sidewalk and the selection changes throughout the week.