Almost three days have already flown by at Vinitaly, and we at Italian Grapevine are looking forward to a great last day tomorrow!
This morning I had the chance to participate in Young to Young, a tasting led by the famous Food&Wine journalists Paolo Massobrio (La Stampa, Il Golosario) and Marco Gatti. Young to Young aims at casting a light on young wine producers through young wine communicators. Today’s tasting was dedicated to three male producers, all in their thirties (just like me!).
The first producer, Davide Zoppi of Cantina Cà du Ferrà, is from the region where I was born: Liguria. Located in the northwest of Italy, Liguria is a tiny strip of land between the mountains (the Maritime Alps and the Apennines) and the sea, and is not particularly well-known for its wines… Maybe it is more famous for Portofino and other Italian Riviera towns!
After getting a degree in law, Davide Zoppi decided to dedicate himself instead to wine, taking over his parents’ winery in Bonassola (close to the beautiful Cinque Terre). Today, he presented a Vermentino Colline di Levanto DOP, and he passionately spoke about the natural amphitheater that houses his vineyards, and from which one can even see the French island of Corsica on clear days.
I particularly enjoyed the wine’s name, “Luccicante” or ‘glittering’; it is named after the way the sea sparkles in the golden midday sun. It immediately reminded me of “il palpitare / lontano di scaglie di mare” (the faraway heartbeat of fish scales in the sea) from the poem Meriggiare pallido e assorto, by the Ligurian Nobel Prize-winning poet Eugenio Montale.
The second wine we tasted was a Müller Thurgau, a wine from the Trentino Alto-Adige region (in the far northeast). Like the Ligurian Vermentino, this wine comes from a land with a rocky terrain, people have to grapple more with taming the countryside than they do in hilly Tuscany or Piedmont. The Müller Thurgau Viàch 2017 is by the Cooperative Corvée, a group of young producers who are childhood friends. Their delegate for today was the winemaker Moreno Nardin. The name of the Cooperative refers to the Medieval system in which the winemakers were vassals of the Archbishop Prince in Trento. Corvée is therefore an homage to those who actually created the terrazze, flat surfaces cut into mountains to facilitate agricultural work, where the current vineyards are located on this rocky terrain. The mountains can be tasted in the bottle, thanks to notes of herbs and pine. Hats off to these guys!
After two white wines, the tasting went on to a very happy ending with a Brunello di Montalcino by Cantina Padelletti (no geography reference needed here… everyone has heard of Montalcino!) This winery has a long tradition: the first reference to it dates back to 1571, the same year as the Battle of Lepanto. Silvano Tarducci is the 27th generation in the winery (!), but he is the first one in the family to fully dedicate himself to wine, as all his predecessors traditionally split their time between wine and various other professions. Silvano Tarducci got involved in winemaking a few years ago, but he has already demonstrated strong commitment and devotion to this sector. With a focus on improving quality more than quantity, he is achieving a desired result. Today we tasted a 2012 Riserva, with delightful cherry and spice notes. Very promising for a 7-year-old Brunello!
By Italian Grapevine contributing writer, Francesca Giuliano