(AGI) Rome, Mar 25 - Seven leading Italian wine producers havebegun to work together for Milan Expo and beyond, focusing onthe foreign market and on an academy to consolidate theindustry, ranging from training to the promotion of their localareas. In short, these firms are no longer competitors, but areallied under the name of Italian Signature Wines Academy, aproject created to conquer new markets together, especiallyforeign ones and ones where the Italian presence is not yetwell established. One year on from when the idea emerged atVinitaly in Verona, the club of excellence has beenconsolidated with joint actions and five founders - Allegrini(Veneto), Feudi di San Gregorio (Campania), Fontanafredda(Piedmont), Marchesi de' Frescobaldi (Tuscany) and Planeta(Sicily), which grew to seven with the recent entry of ArnaldoCaprai (Umbria) and Villa Sandi (Veneto). They have created asort of national team of excellence of Italian wine in theworld that produces 40 million bottles of high quality wine ayear, with a turnover of about 250 million euros and thatexports over 60% of their products. According to DirectorGeneral of Veronafiere, Giovanni Mantovani, "it is an examplefor other wine businesses, especially small ones. It is a groupwhere people can discuss, act and create the culture of BrandItaly and that will always find an open door here because it isa growth opportunity for the world of Italian wine." Everythingrevolves around the word "academy", that is "an institution forstudy and the furtherance of higher level knowledge, andtraining," noted Marilisa Allegrini, one of the best knownItalian women in the wine world, especially Amarone, who chairsthe exclusive club. And together the seven, just back fromtheir debut at "ProWein" in Dusseldorf, are preparing to go toExpo 2015 with a specific space in the Eataly pavilion and, inJune, "Vinexpo" in Bordeaux where their wine will be displayedand tasted in the exclusive "Les Terrasses", a 360 square-metrespace, a particularly prestigious and charming location, whichwill also host and provide the setting for other famous brandsfrom Italian product sectors, including food and wine, andfurnishings. "We want to get involved in the homeland of ourbiggest competitors," said Allegrini, adding: "we will not stophere - but will attend - other events in the world." Theprogramme of the Italian Signature Wines Academy also includes"incoming actions to provide hospitality to foreign operatorsand journalists in prestigious venues to show off Italy as thehome of art and promote our products." Giovanni Geddes daFilicaja, CEO of the Frescobaldi group, said during a meetingin Verona: "We want to work in training personnel on themarket, marketing, and above all communication strategies. Andwe aren't just thinking about our employees, but also aboutyoung people with opportunities for internships, and small- andmedium-sized enterprises." Roberto Bruno, manager ofFontanafredda, mentioned "the forum that has just taken placein Verona for all the export managers of the seven wineries ofItalian Signature Wines Academy to share experiences andknowledge of the markets. Commercial synergies is a strongtheme and is distinctive from other sectors. Italy is our brandand we will seize Expo 2015 as an extraordinary opportunity forgreater visibility." "All of these common strategies andactions," said Antonio Capaldo, owner of Feudi di San Gregorio,"shows the substance of our project. It is this thatcharacterises us." The idea of "creating a team" in such aconcrete way is important, stressed Alessio Planeta, owner ofthe winery of the Sicilian winery of the same name. "Doingbusiness in Sicily is not easy because we are far away. This isan extraordinary initiative that shortens the distance: stayingtogether for us means not only sharing information andknowledge, but being closer to the world.". (AGI).