What is it about?
This paper aims to examine how network relationships influenced the internationalization of small Italian wine producers characterized as late starters. It is based on four cases. It shows that foreign tourists helped these firms to expand internationally: they identified business opportunities, suggested firms to contact importers, contacted importers themselves to get access to the same wine in their home country or provided foreign market knowledge. Thus, small wine producers should pay more attention to attracting tourists and creating network relationship with them. Several other network relationships for instance, with friends and relatives, Italian expatriates and other business partners also advanced the case firms’ internationalization. Moreover, they were affected by lack of time and resources, language barriers and other factors. Thus, all these aspects also need managers’ attention. Furthermore, they should take a more strategic approach towards internationalization and understand that not all internationalization attempts succeed or result in continuous orders.
The following have contributed to this page: PhD Tiia Vissak, Professor Fabio Musso, and Dr Barbara Francioni