At the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis addressed an audience of over 100 wine producers and trade representatives as a part of an initiative titled “The Economy of St. Francis and the World of Italian Wine,” according to a press release. The discussion was organized by Veronafiere-Vinitaly, the company responsible for hosting Italy’s biggest annual trade show.
Throughout his address, Pope Francis advocated for the democratization and accessibility of wine, as well as the importance of ethics and respect across the industry.
“Wine, land, agricultural skills, and enterprise are gifts from God,” Pope Francis said in his opening remarks. Later in the discussion, the leader of the Catholic church urged that respect is mandatory in all facets of the wine industry, from “attention to the environment” to “work and healthy consumption habits.”
“The mere application of industrial techniques and business logic are not enough to ensure quality products,” he said. “The land, vineyards, cultivation, fermentation and maturing processes require consistency, attention and patience.”
The president of Veronafiere, Federico Bricolo, echoed Pope Francis’s remarks, agreeing to “ensure that wine continues to be an aspect of social cohesion and open dialogue that inspires conviviality to bring people together.”
In an industry often chastised for snobbery and exclusivity, it’s reassuring to hear that efforts are being made to make wine approachable for people of all creeds and socioeconomic backgrounds. Pope Francis isn’t alone in emphasizing the importance of this shift, and we can only hope the tides continue to turn, making wine more welcoming to everyone.
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