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Clarissa Burt interviews Giusy Versace on In the Limelight Magazine

The latest edition of In the Limelight, Clarissa Burt's quarterly Magazine, is now out on the web. In the Limelight Media is a multimedia platform consisting of videos, podcasts and a digital magazine dedicated to educational, inspiring and entertaining topics. Periodically In the Limelight features personalities from the worlds of business, entertainment and the arts. Videos and podcasts can be enjoyed on major streaming platforms.

The cover of the current issue is dedicated to Giusy Versace, Paralympic athlete, TV presenter and Italian politician.

During the interview, Giusy Versace recounts the difficulties she has gone through in recent years: "Life is not easy for women in the first place, and a woman's legs are part of her femininity.", but also the moments of joy: "My best moment was at the Venice Carnival in 2015. It included an act known as Eagle Flight. I was the person, dressed as an eagle, and I descended from the bell tower in flight. I cried tears of happiness because I knew I could walk, run, dance... and fly."

You can read the full interview online by logging on to:

NIAF Praises Italy’s Afghanistan Relief Efforts

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) commends Italy for its substantial relief efforts in Afghanistan over the course of the past 14 days. Italy was among the first countries to start civilian evacuations from Kabul and airlifted 5,011 people, including 4,890 Afghans (among those, 1,301 women and 1,453 children), more than any other European Union country. The Italian airlift operation, named "Aquila Omnia" (Eagle Ready), employed eight military aircrafts in 87 flights.

"We are grateful to the outstanding Italian women and men that in just 14 days airlifted 4,890 Afghans from Kabul to Italy," said Ambassador of Italy to the United States Mariangela Zappia. "This evacuation marked the end of our 20 years military engagement in Afghanistan, side by side with the U.S. and other allies. Our thoughts are with the 54 Italian soldiers dead and the 723 wounded in Afghanistan and with the victims of the terrorist attacks that hit the country, including the 13 U.S. soldiers killed on August 26. Our help to the Afghan population will not stop here and we won't compromise on the rights that the Afghans, first and foremost women and children, gained in the last 20 years. We are working to ensure a safe transit to all Afghans wishing to leave the country after August 31. Italy is pushing for a multilaterally shared strategy involving all major international players, starting from neighboring countries."

Meanwhile Italy plans to increase its humanitarian aid, enhance the fight against terrorism, with its allies and partners, and promote a coordinated approach to migration management, at the EU level and internationally. To achieve these goals, Italy has launched an "Italian plan for the Afghan people" to be implemented through an operational platform involving all relevant government agencies.

On November 8, 2001, Italian lawmakers voted to enter the War in Afghanistan and were the fifth European country to commit military forces to the U.S.-led coalition. This March marked the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Italy. The transatlantic bond combines the common foreign and defense policy with harmony in social relations, cultural, economic, commercial and scientific-technological cooperation.


Delicato Family Wines Announces First Recipients of the Winemaker Scholarship

Delicato Family Wines is pleased to announce the first winemaker scholarship and mentoring program recipients focused on encouraging Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students to join the wine industry and support them through the academic pipeline to a successful early career placement opportunity. Two high school graduates will receive a fully paid scholarship, including living expenses, mentorship by a senior executive, professional development, and industry experience through paid summer internships and a guaranteed job upon graduation.
As part of a broader strategic initiative to promote diversity at the winery and within the greater wine industry, the mission and purpose of Delicato Family Wines' Winemaker Scholarship Program is to support diversity efforts within the Wine Industry with a specific focus on supporting BIPOC students in their pursuit of becoming a Winemaker.

Launched earlier this year, the 2021 Winemaker Scholarship was initially slated for a single recipient to receive the scholarship. However, when presented with the final candidates, the review committee was impressed with two inspiring and talented young women – Ariana Godina of Madera South High and Mercy Torres of Carpinteria High School. Each of the recipients will be attending California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo this fall, with a focus on Viticulture and Enology. 

"This scholarship program represents Delicato's continued commitment to helping the next generation of leaders pursue their dreams. We applaud Ariana and Mercy for all of the hard work and dedication that has brought them this far. We are excited to be a part of their bright futures, and we look forward to the innovative contributions these students will make to our industry," said Chris Indelicato, Chief Executive Officer.
"Cal Poly's Wine and Viticulture Department is thrilled to have two incoming students awarded the first-ever Delicato Winemaker Scholarship," said Andrew Thulin, Dean of Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. "As the largest undergraduate wine and viticulture program in the country, Cal Poly has an opportunity to create real change in the wine industry. Delicato's leadership to support Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students with their educational goals and help facilitate their pathway into the wine industry is inspiring and supports efforts to bring more diversity to the Cal Poly program."

Delicato's Winemaker Scholarship program is built around attracting and retaining a diverse workforce of highly talented individuals. By establishing this opportunity for students, we hope to inspire other wineries to follow suit, paving the way for a more diversified wine industry.
2021 Winemaker Scholarship Award Winners

Ariana Godina grew up in the small farming town of Madera, CA.  Growing up in the Central Valley, she is no stranger to Agriculture and was a member of the Future Farmers of America organization throughout her high school career. Ariana was accepted into Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Wine and Viticulture program. After graduating from Madera South High School, Ariana is looking forward to putting her ambition and talents into Cal Poly's prestigious curriculum and grow her passion and devotion for agriculture that was cultivated in high school. "Coming from a family of Mexican immigrants, I am excited to break cycles in my family and push the expectations set for me."

Mercy Torres grew up in the community of Carpinteria California. This past June, she graduated from Carpinteria High School and committed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to study Wine and Viticulture.  With the love of her parents and three siblings, she has broken barriers and attained unbelievable dreams. For the past two years, she has worked at a local family-owned restaurant titled Corktree Cellars. Working as a waitress, she enjoys meeting customers and appreciated their love for food and wine. "For me, winemaking is a prestigious tradition I have the opportunity to educate myself in a subject that is meaningful and life giving."

Value sales of wine continue to grow in the off-trade channel in Italy

According to a recent Nomisma Wine Report, sales of wine in generalist websites (distribution chains + Amazon) in the first six months of 2021 show a 351% increase in value and 310% increase in volume as compared to the same period of the previous year which, it should be remembered, included two months of total lockdown (and therefore exponential growth in online wine purchases by Italians).

This is still a limited incidence compared to the value of total wine sales in the off-trade channel, that is just 2%, which, added to the weight of the so called pure players, does not exceed 15%, but it is rather representative of a consolidated trend. Widening the scope of analysis to the entire off-trade channel, the first half of 2021 confirms the growth trend of value sales of wine in large-scale retail trade (+10% in Hypermarkets and Super, +2% in Discount stores) and a recovery in Cash & Carry (+18%) as a sign of the progressive reopening of bars and restaurants (Cash & Carry represents, in fact, a distribution format reserved to professionals of the Horeca channel). A recovery further confirmed by the figure for the second quarter of 2021 (when restrictions were loosened the most): +45% compared with the first quarter of this year.

In this context of growth and resumption of out-of-home wine consumption, e-commerce plays the leading role. By comparing online shopping with the cart of wines bought at the shelves, it is evident a higher average value in favor of e-commerce. Whereas in Italian large-scale retail trade stores, PDOs represent about 40% of the quantity of wine purchased (always in the first semester of 2021), in online orders this percentage reaches 54%.

The average price of wines purchased online shows a differential of about 38% in case of still and sparkling wines and of 19% in case of sparkling wines, compared to the purchases on shelves, a difference resulting from the different composition - typological, but also for brand and packaging - of the two shopping carts.

In detail, as opposed to a 12% incidence of sparkling wines on the volumes of wine purchased on shelves in Italian large-scale retail trade, in the e-commerce channel this weight reaches 16%. Moreover, again about sparkling wines, the weight of Champagne and Metodo Classico reaches 12% in the online cart as opposed to 8% of shelf sales. Even for organic wines the incidence is double in case of online shopping (although still marginal on the total, that is 2%)