Vinitaly 2014, a few words
For a wine journalist in Italy, Vinitaly is like New Year. The new wine year really gets under way with this event. The mood at the fair in Verona is fundamental for facing the subsequent twelve months. This year, I have to say, it all went really well. Let’s forget the innate shortcomings of a fair that welcomes the general public to a small city (traffic, heavy drinking, annoying drunkenness among the pavilions). At the end, official figures talk of 155 thousand visitors (up 6%), with an increase of 36% of foreign guests.
What remains of Vinitaly 2014 is a load of interesting encounters.
In particular, a down-to earth conversation, very marvellously down-to earth, with Count Paolo Marzotto, the owner of the Sicilian “chateau” Baglio di Pianetto who created a Sicilian Viognier (Ginolfo) many years ago, which I think will win the hearts of many great white wine enthusiasts, especially if the Count can manage to give it a hint of citrus and a little more freshness, while maintaining the same character. But apart from the romance of the solitary taster, during this Vinitaly, all sorts of things happened, even the Prime Minister came to visit for the first time in the history of the event.
On the same morning that the Premier attracted all the attention, our magazine, gathered together 220 professionals, enthusiasts and journalists for a wine tasting with 10 producers that we called “Masters of excellence”, i.e. some of the wineries that have attained the highest number of ratings from the wine guides in the last three years. It was a triumph, and unfortunately we couldn’t satisfy all of those on the waiting list: read here about the participants and the wines.
Another very important moment was the Masi Seminar, which has tackled important viticultural and winemaking themes for twenty-six years now: the technical staff of the winery from the Veneto area and researchers from Verona University and the Mach Foundation in Trento have scientifically proved that there are no shortcuts for making a great Amarone: it takes time. Corvina, the main grape variety of the Amarone blend, is a variety genetically suitable to expressing itself at the highest levels with a long and slow drying process.
Of Vinitaly’s evening events, worth mentioning is the dinner organised by Allegrini in the magnificent Villa della Torre with its two monumental Baroque chimneys, attributed to Ridolfi, a student of Giulio Romano. That evening the chef was Bobo Cerea from the Da Vittorio restaurant (three Michelin stars) in Brusaporto near Bergamo, the highest level of Italian cuisine, a dream.
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