Bele Casel at the FIVI pavilion at Vinitaly 2016

FIVI is changing the way small grape growers lobby and advocate for their causes in Europe.

It’s acronym is FIVI, which stands for Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti.

In other words, the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers.

It was founded in July 2008 by a group of likeminded grape growers who wanted their voice to be heard in the growing world of the globalized commercial wine industry.

The concept is simple. In order to join the group, you must grown your own grapes; make your own wine; bottle your own wine; package your own wine; and then market and sell your own wine.

In the fickle and constantly changing world of fine wine today, there is a growing number of wheeler-dealer large-scale winery groups that use a négociant model to create their products.

In other words, they may buy grapes or buy grape must or buy wines that have already been made. They often purchase surplus or unsold wine from other winery groups that they then repackage and sell at obscenely low prices.

There’s nothing technically wrong or illegal about these practices. But as the interest in fine wine continues to grow across the globe and the market for fine wine continues to expand in tandem, the increased application of the commercial négociant model tends to eclipse the voice of the independent grape grower.

In response to this phenomenon, the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers acts as a lobbying and advocacy group.

It interacts, for example, with the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and often lobbies on behalf of its members.

It also interacts with the CEVI, the European Confederation of Independent Grape Growers.

And beyond its role as advocate and lobbyist, it also organizes an annual wine fair/market where its members can sell their products directly to consumers and restaurateurs and wine shop owners.

Today, it counts more than 900 members in its ranks and Bele Casel grape grower and winemaker Luca Ferraro serves on its technical advisory board.

For the second year in a row, Bele Casel will not be presenting its wines at its own stand at Vinitaly, the annual Italian wine trade fair in Verona.

Instead, like last year, it will be part of the FIVI group of stands.

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