Ciro Pirone IWA

Ciro Pirone, Director of Italian Wines for Horizon Beverage Company, is a graduate of the Istituto Alberghiero (Hotel and Restaurant Management school) of Salerno, Italy and a Vinitaly Wine Ambassador (Vinitaly Wine Academy). Traveling and working in Italy, England and the US, Ciro developed an incredible passion for wine, food and culture. After all, growing up in Italy, wine was always a very important part of his family’s lifestyle and traditions.

In 1999, Ciro moved to the US permanently. He landed in Boston, where he continued his wine studies at Boston University, the International Sommelier Guild, the London –based Wine & Spirits

Educational Trust (WSET), as well as he completed and passed with Honors the Italian Wine Specialist Certification by the North American Sommelier Association (part of the worldwide recognized Italian Sommelier Association). In June of 2017 (and again in 2019) he completed the Vinitaly Wine Academy and received the prestigious Vinitaly Wine Ambassador certification. In 2019 also passed with Honors the Italian Wine Scholar program by the Wine Scholar Guild. In 2007, Ciro accepted the position of Italian Wine Specialist for Horizon Beverage.

After successful growth at HBC, Ciro accepted on a new challenge as the US Brand Manager for the Arnaldo Caprai Winery of Montefalco (Umbria), the top producer of worldwide recognized Sagrantino di Montefalco. In June 2011, Ciro returned to Horizon Beverage with a new position of Director of Italian Wines in support of their expanding presence in the New England marketplace. Ciro is happy to share his passion for Italian wine and culture in an effort to give the American wine consumer a better understanding and appreciation for Italian wine!

Wine Education & Market update in the U.S. (NorthEast)

Dive into U.S. 3-tier system to import, distribute, and sell wines in the U.S. while understanding some major markets (MA, NY etc.) fluctuations by value and volume. Discuss the main reasons as to why these markets have performed well or not, such as travel restrictions, education, events, specifically from a distributor and retailer perspective. In particular, Gianluca and Ciro will discuss and share their experience in how wine education has changed and what benefits and challenges were experienced from retailer and distribution standpoint. Lastly, some key grape varieties and appellations on the rise in the market will be shared.