VinItaly and Slow Wine 2014 – Fun, Education, and Lots of Wines
The story started 48 years ago, with the event called “Italian Wine Days”, which hosted a number of Italian wineries willing to present their wines to the world. Since then, VinItaly grew into one of the biggest wine shows in the world – its main 4 days event typically is taking place in April in Verona and attracts more than 140,000 visitors from 116 countries. Starting in 2013, VinItaly started the new initiative, called VinItaly International, with the goal of taking the Italian wines on the road and bringing them to the United States, Russia, China and other countries.
Outraged by the planned construction of McDonalds restaurant on Spanish Steps in Rome, the Slow Food movement was created in Italy in 1986, quickly becoming an international phenomenon, aiming at educating people about slow, real and delicious food, just the way it should be. Since then, Slow Food movement was embraced by millions of people in more than 160 countries around the world. Starting in 2010, Slow Food started publishing its wine guide, called (you guessed it) Slow Wine, dedicated to the wines which are best at demonstrating the Slow Food values, the wines with the sense of place.
For the second year in the row, I had a pleasure of attending combined VinItaly and Slow Wine event in New York city (here is the link to the post about last year’s event). This year, the pleasure was also greatly enhanced by the fact that I was joined by Oliver (the winegetter), his wife Nina and Stefano (Clicks & Corks) – as you can imagine, everything is better in a great company.
In addition to all of the wines being available for the walk around tasting, VinItaly also brought a great educational program to this year’s event. This educational program, consisting of the multiple seminars presented during the day, was part of the new VinItaly’s initiative, called Vinitaly International Academy (VIA). I talked to Stevie Kim, Managing Director of the VinItaly International, who explained that this new VIA program will offer both educational seminars (called Masterclass) on various Italian regions and wines, as well as unique tasting opportunities, such as for instance, a tasting of the vertical of Sassicaia – I really hope my invitation to such a Masterclass will not get lost in the mail. Dr. Ian D’Agata, a researcher, journalist and an author of a number of books about Italian wines, was appointed as the Scientific Director of VIA, and he was teaching a number of masterclasses presented at New York’s event. I was lucky enough to attend most of the Masterclasses offered during the VinItaly event – I will have separate posts for those, as subjects of Barolo Cannubi, Amarone and Franciacorta are well worth it.
Here is a small filmstip prepared by VinItaly with Stevie Kim and Ian D’Agata, explaining what the VIA is all about:
Before I will talk about some of the wine highlights from the event, I want to share some of the interesting stats offered during the press conference. The data below present various numbers regarding wine imports into the US – if you are in love with numbers as much as I am, these are the interesting stats, all shared as part of the information package by VinItaly tour. These are the various import statistics as presented by the US Department of Commerce:
I would assume you are sufficiently inundated by numbers, so let’s talk a bit about the wines before we round up this post.
With all the Masterclasses presented at VinItaly, this is where my focus really was – learning about and tasting lots of great wines, per-arranged by Ian D’Agata. I had about 2 hours of time on the tasting floor itself, primarily focused on giving a “rare varieties”
whirlwind run tour to Nina. As usual, I took an extremely short notes and primarily used my trade show rating system of +. ++ and +++ (yes, with exceptions for ++-| and ++++). Below are some of the most memorable wines from that tasting:
2011 Aquila del Torre Riesling Friuli Venezia Giulia – +++ excellent
2010 Aquila del Torre Refosco Friuli Venezia Giulia – +++ clean, open
NV Brut Rosé Prima Nera Friuli Venezia Giulia – +++, very unusual sparkler made from the rare red grape called Schiopettino
2012 Cantine San Marco Romae Bianco, Lazio – +++ clean, beautiful (this wine is made out of Malvasia del Lazio)
2012 Sant’Isidoro Colli Maceratesi Ribona Pausula, Marche – ++-|, nice, good acidity (made out of rare grape Maceratino, which is a new grape for me!)
2010 G.D. Vajra Langhe Freisa Kyé, Piedmont – ++-|
Three great wines from Planeta (Planeta is a great producer from Sicily, and it rarely disappoints)
2011 Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico Dorilli , Sicily – +++. beautiful complexity
2008 Planeta Noto Nero d’Avola Santa Cecilia, Sicily – +++ power!
2012 Planeta Sicilia Fiano Cometa, Sicily – +++
2012 La Parrina Vermentino, Tuscany – +++
Montenidoli Il Templare, Tuscany – +++, good
And then one and only – Caberlot!
2010 Podere Il Carnasciale Caberlot, Tuscany – ++++ nose, complexity!
2009 Podere Il Carnasciale Caberlot, Tuscany – ++++ spices, amazing
2011 Podere Il Carnasciale Il Carnasciale, Tuscany – +++ (this is second label of Caberlot wines)
2010 Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany – +++
2011 Leonido Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca, Veneto – +++ beautiful
2011 Leonido Pieropan Valpolicella Superiore Ruberpan, Veneto – +++
2010 Antonelli San Marco Montefalco Rosso, Umbria – +++
2009 Tabarrini Montefalco Sagrantino Colle Grimaldesco, Umbria – +++
2010 Tabarrini Montefalco Rosso, Umbria – +++
And that concludes my first report from the VinItaly 2014 event in New York city – more posts to come, so stay tuned… Cheers!