Vinitaly is different from any other international wine fair I have ever attended. Firstly it is mainly Italian focussed: the bulk of the exhibitors and a little over 2/3 of the fair goers are Italian. This is very different from say the London International Wine Fair, where the bulk of the trade is indeed British, but exhibitors are from all over the world, and Prowein, which is totally international.
Secondly it is huge – in fact it is the worlds second largest wine fair, there are 12 different halls covering 95,000 square metres with 4321 exhibitors and more than 160,000 visitors attending over 4 days. With that many producers and events going on and vast distances to cover one has to me more than a little organised and carefully plan one’s days including a few back up plans in case of the inevitable delays. And even if one does not naturally associates Italians with being very organised, at this event they really are as business is the only thing on everybody’s mind. According to the press dossier an average of 33 leads per exhibitor were made during the event, that is more than double the average (15) for most other events. Therefore I believe Vinitaly is a must attend event for anybody selling Italian wines (in Italy or abroad) as well as anybody wanting to sell wine in Italy.
Cantina Terlano Quarts Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Azienda Agricola Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca
Paulo Scavino Barolo Rocche dell Annunziata Riserva 2005
Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalicino Poggio al Vento Riserva 2004 (my favourite wine of the night:-) )
Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri-Sassiscaia Sassiscaia 2008
The actual fair started with a bang for me as Robbin Gheesling invited Onne and I to join her in an interview of Michel Rolland. We were lucky enough to taste 4 of his wines with him (Chateau le Bon Pasteur 2007 from Pomerol, Campo Eliseo 2004 from Toro, Bonne Nouvelle Cape Blend 2004 and the Mariflor Malbec 2010 from Mendoza). I really enjoyed the tasting as the wines were excellent, yet I was intrigued by how different the wines were especially when I compare them with wines of other famous flying winemakers.Michel explained that he feels a wine should be an expression of the terroir rather than the winemaker, something I whole heartedly agree with! Michel also spoke about how the wine world has changed and the quality of wine in general improved significantly during his career. He told us that times have never been as good for #winelover’s - and he knows as he’s a long time winelover and he now also has the t-shirt to prove it :-) However as we left he reminded us that drinking a glass of wine should be pleasurable – so we need to drink what brings us pleasure rather than follow the lead of others. Some excellent advise from a genuinely nice wine rock star!! The other person I had the pleasure of meeting at Vinitaly was Debra Meiburg MW. Debra is an amazing #winelover ambassador – and our most active participant the the #winelover activities. She volunteered to be a panel member for both of our debates and contributed very graciously but actively in both discussions. Debra has a wealth of experience in wine and in social media where she actively shares some of her knowledge. I had read about her tongue and cheek approach to wine tasting but I have to admit to have been spell bound in the guided “Woman and Wine” tasting she hosted for us. Debra has the perfect knack to break down something that can be quite complicated into easy to understand bit parts and to make you feel totally at ease. We tasted 4 wines, 2 from Piedmont (a Barbaresco and a Barolo), one from Tuscany (a Brunello) and one from Umbria. All wines had been made by female winemakers and all four wines were outstanding. It was extremely interesting to taste these 4 wines side by side as it gave me a good overview of the regions and grape varieties.
These were my highlights from an amazing 5 days with fellow #winelover’s at Vinitaly. I have been racking my brains to find any disappointments and the only one I can think of is having missed the Peter Koff MW guided Italian wine tasting. Unfortunately our lifts back home left a little early and Onne and I had to forgo the tasting. We have, however, heard that the tasting was amazing! So I hope to meet Peter at another fair or wine event and to be able to attend one of his tastings at that time – who knows maybe even on Georgian Kvevris (amphora) wines :-)