Home > Italian wines, Wine Tasting > VinItaly and Slow Wine 2014 – Fun, Education, and Lots of Wines

VinItaly and Slow Wine 2014 – Fun, Education, and Lots of Wines

February 15, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

VinItaly and Slow Wine logoThe 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:

Via FilmstripBefore 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:

Imports to US Jan - Sep 2013

Imports to US Jan – Sep 2013

Compare the data above with this one - Imports to Canada Jan - Sep 2013

Compare the data above with this one – Imports to Canada Jan – Sep 2013

Imports to US 2007- 2012 year over year data

Imports to US 2007- 2012 year over year data

Imports to US 2007- 2012 Still Wines

Imports to US 2007- 2012 Still Wines

Imports to US 2007- 2012 Sparkling Wines

Imports to US 2007- 2012 Sparkling Wines

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!

  1. February 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Next year, we’re coming with you! Sounds awesome :). I would love to try some of these!

    • talkavino
      February 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      you definitely should!

  2. February 15, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Interesting Anatoli, this post reads like a master class, look forward to more.

    • talkavino
      February 16, 2014 at 7:33 am

      Thanks, Suzanne!

  3. February 15, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Great write up, Anatoli. Am in the process of finishing my impressions…:)

  4. Fig & Quince
    February 16, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Everything *is* better in a great company! Thank you for a great introduction to VinItaly.

    • talkavino
      February 16, 2014 at 7:33 am

      My pleasure, Azita!

  5. February 16, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Great write-up–love the numbers!

    • talkavino
      February 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Thanks, Jeff! Yes, the numbers are very interesting – I had no idea Italy is leading wine export to US for so many years

  6. February 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I, like Jeff, think the numbers are illustrative. I wouldn’t have thought that, in the US, Italy trumped France given what I believed wrongly was France’s stronger position in the export trade. The Canadian numbers seem to reflect the fact that we have a large French speaking population that probably influences preferences for French wine historically.
    Also, liked to see one of my favourite wineries, Planeta, represented so well. Love the care and ‘devotion’ they apply to their craft.

    • talkavino
      February 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      I’m with you, Bill – the numbers look interesting, this is why I decided to include both US and Canada as it is an interesting comparison.

      And I also agree about Planeta – consistency is a great quality : )

  7. February 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Great recap of VinItaly NYC Anatoli 🙂
    There are some wines in your list that I definitely will seek out. The 2012 Cantine San Marco Romae Bianco sounds great.
    What was your favorite wine of the event?

    • talkavino
      February 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks, Julian! I’m not sure if I had a favorite wine – there were quite a few good wines, especially in Barolo, Amarone and Franciacorta master classes – I will talk about those in the upcoming posts. However, there was not one single “OMG”-type wine…

  8. March 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Great recap, Anatoli: I love all the data and stats you presented so well in your post!
    I had a great time walking Vinitaly (and the Gambero Rosso!) together and am looking forward to the Rioja event now! 🙂

    • talkavino
      March 19, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      great to have you back, my friend!!!!!!!! Yes, we had fun!

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