And another Vinitaly – celebrating its 50th anniversary – comes to a close. By all accounts, this year was a success; producers big and small sold more wine to more markets than in the past. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
Wrong! It’s about people, personalities, communication, sharing, spreading the passion for the grape, the land, your story, your roots. (Here the soundtrack is Barbra Streisand’s People! I know, I hear you – we went from Verdi to Streisand in just a few days… e allora?) And so many people make Vinitaly – and the world of wine – what it is. Winemakers, organizers, sommeliers, chefs, the press. All of them necessary parts to what makes this important sector of the Italian economy tick.
So here’s my Week in Review of the 50th Annual Vinitaly in Verona:
Yes, there was a lot of tasting going on, but also visits with producers big and small, those we already knew… and those we just met.
We already knew Paolo Cotroneo, on the left, from Fattoria La Rivolta, who makes splendid (and prize-winning) Aglianico, Falanghina, and Fiano in that rich land that is the Taburno. And Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno, on the right, at Castello di Gabiano in Piedmont, won the 5 Grappoli 2016 from Bibenda for his Piemonte Chardonnay DOC “Castello”.
We just met Elena Walch, who is well-known in the world of wine, pictured here with her daughter Karoline, and yours truly. Their family-run winery in Alto Adige certainly merits a visit, if only to sip Kastelaz where it has been produced. To the right, Giordano Begali of Lorenzo Begali, a small Veneto producer, carrying on the tradition of his father. We tasted a full-bodied Amarone and finished up with the Recioto.
Let’s not forget the sommeliers! How many liters of great wine did they pour at this Vinitaly? Always professional, and always with a smile. Grazie!
Can we forget the chefs?
Here I am with Massimo Camia, a star of Italian cuisine – that’s a Michelin star, by the way – who has a special synergy with the Damilano family (we’re talking Barolo here, Cannubi in particular). How he manages to whip up such exquisite fare in such tiny quarters is a tribute to the genius that goes into every plate!
Hoofing it up at the Verona fairgrounds, from time to time we made a pit-stop at the Press Office, running into colleagues from Italy and abroad.
As always, the Association of Le Donne del Vino, the Women of Wine, holds its fair-ending event on Wednesday evening.
Making all of this happen is Veronafiere and Vinitaly International. The ubiquitous Stevie Kim manages to be everywhere and greet everyone, present, organize and even find time for a photo op with yours truly. Done with aplomb, passion and understated competence. Brava!
So, Arrivederci, Verona! See you next year!