It is always easy for me to find an incredible Vino con Vista spot. There are so many beautiful vistas in Italy and so many interesting wines that pair well with the Italian cuisine.
It’s time for VinItaly 2013 in Verona at the
Veronafiere. Vinitaly 2013 is the world’s oldest wine exhibition – founded in 1967. It will be attended by more than 4,200 companies from over 20 countries. This event “provides the wine & food system with the broadest and best-structured world platform for business, promotion, relations with national and foreign institutions, buyers, opinion leaders and consumers.”
There is a networking system and a newly formed VinitalyWineClub initiative. It includes Sol&Agrifood, Enolitech, OperaWine and Vinitaly International.
Two Tastings will inaugurate and close Vinitaly 2013: OperaWine and the tasting of wines taking awards in the International Wine Competition. As a prestigious parade of the best Italian wines, OperaWine – “Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers” – is the special tasting organized by Wine Spectator for the 2013 edition of Vinitaly.
Palazzo della Gran Guardia, in the heart of Verona located in Piazza Bra on 6 April will host OperaWine – an event dedicated to specialist international professionals with a focus on the US market. Vinitaly will close with a walk around tasting of wines winning special, Grand Gold Medal and Gold Medal awards at the International Wine Competition that was held last November. This initiative is part of the marketing and promotional activity for the best wines taking part in this competition, that attracted entries from companies in 23 countries. for more information visit www.vinitaly.com.
WHEN: April 7-10, 2013
VinItaly awards will be presented during Benvenuto Vinitaly, the gala event organized on the eve of the inauguration of the International exhibition of wines and spirits scheduled 7-10 April at Veronafiere. Jean Smullen and Dave Broom were proclaimed winners of the Communicator of the Year Award
The Vinitaly International Award 2013 went to the Terredora company and American journalist Alfonso Cevola.
” Terredora has been for more than 30 years a landmark in wine production while Cevola over his long career has always promoted Italian wine world-wide. These are the official motivations. Terredora: “since 1978, the year when it was founded by Walter Mastroberardino, the company has been one of the most solid landmarks in what is considered to be a genuine ‘Renaissance’ in the wine sector of the Irpinia region. An ancient land where the growing vines boasts a deeprooted history that the Montefusco-based company has rediscovered through a wager (at that time anything but obvious) on the millennial vines cultivated since Antiquity in the area – Aglianico, Fiano, Greco and Falanghina – while at the same time as introducing innovation, knowledge and people capable of grasping the challenges of the future. Such people include Lucio Mastroberardino who has worked in the family business since 1994, becoming the protagonist of its definitive revival and even taking the important role of President of the Italian Wine Union. His recent and untimely death is a terribly sad loss for the world of Italian wine. This is also why the Vinitaly International Award 2013 is made to Terredora, in the persons of his brother and sister Paolo and Daniela Mastroberardino who will no doubt continue the path marked out by Lucio with the same passion and the same skill.” Alfonso Cevola: “Known as the Italian Wine Guy and a profound connoisseur of great wineries but also of the less famous vines making up the great Italian wine heritage. A great communicator,” the motivation continues, “who transmits his passion for Italian wine and culture through his blog On the Wine Trail in Italy and his intense professional activity that saw him become Director of Glazer’s Italian Wine over the last 21 years and a Certified Specialist of wine and Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News and The Well Fed Network.” The awards will be delivered during Benvenuto Vinitaly, the gala evening organised on Saturday 6 April in Palazzo Verità Poeta, one of the jewels of the historical centre of Verona. Guests will toast the winners with glasses of Prosecco, currently the sparkling wine most famous in the world, in its two varieties: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg and Prosecco Doc, enjoyed together on this evening of international breadth to highlight the originality of this truly inimitable wine.”
If you want to learn how to properly pronounce the names of Italian wines, you may want to watch this training video before you go to VinItaly: http://dobianchi.com/selected-reading/italian-grape-name-pronunciation-project/
For more information visit: www.vinitaly.com
Here are some interesting Italian wine statistics from Gambero Rosso’s “Italian Wines 2012″ guide:
1. The vinyard surface area in Italy is 700,000 hectares
2. There are 700,000 wine estates
3. There are 30,000 bottlers
4. The average wine production over the last five years has been 47 million hectolitres
5. GDP for the entire wine sector is 13 billion euros; 3.9 billion euros from exports
Italy’s landscape is cloaked with vineyards because winemakers in Italy generally pursue vertically integrated business models that involve growing, harvesting, crushing, aging and bottling their wine. The end product is strongly influenced by the region of origin, the grape that is used in the process and the skill of the winemaker. Piero Antinori’s devotion to winemaking is woven through 26 generations who have collectively spend about 625 years making wine. Marchesi Antinori Srl is an Italian wine company that can trace its history back to 1385. They are one of the biggest wine companies in Italy, and their innovations played a large part in the “Super-Tuscan” revolution of the 1970s.
The Italian wine industry provides a wide assortment of wines with various aromas, flavors and textures. The diversity of these wines tends to harmonize with various types of food because of their overall natural acidity.
One of my favorite Italian wines is Amarone della Valpolicella. I find it interesting that Ernest Hemingway also loved wines from Valpolicella. Amarone tends to be pricey. It is made from partially dried grapes of the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara varieties. It reminds me of decadent chocolate and has a nice velvet finish.
Watch this video about wine in the Venato http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlzWka4w1lY
The extensive latitudinal range of the terroir allows the grapevines to be caressed by the convergence of many natural forces including climate, temperature variation, sunshine, soil, humidity, slope, elevation, sea breeze and rainfall. Terroir is a French word that passionately describes the total impact of a given microclimate’s geography. These forces produce a kaleidoscope of wines in many distinctive wine regions throughout the Italian peninsula.
The Italian winemakers rely on the “appellation” system to control the quality of their wine. This is a French concept known as Appellation d’Origine Controlee. This term is used to describe the region or specific area where wine is produced. Since the amount of good terroir is limited, so is the production of outstanding wines. The Napa area of California and the Bordeaux region of France both provide good examples of the concept of terroir.
Here is a map showing the wine regions of France:
In northern Italy, wine regions border France, Switzerland and Austria. The grapes that thrive in these regions and the wine that is produced from these grapes are quite different from the wines that are grown in Tuscany or in the volcanic soil of Campania and Sicily. Apulia and Sicily are the largest regional wine producers: they each control about 17% of Italy’s total production. Some regions produce mostly white wines from grapes like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Vermentino. Other regions produce mostly red wines like Barolo from red Nebbiolo grapes or Chianti from red Sangiovese grapes. The tannins of red wine generally overpower the delicate flavor of fish, so fish is often accompanied by white wine.
Beyond terroir and weather conditions, wine making offers many opportunities for winemakers to improve or damage their wine. The diversity of Italian wines can be intimidating to some oenophiles because the names are so confusing. In some regions, wines are named after the grape variety used to make them and in other regions, the wine is named after the village where it is made. Barolo is a village and Barbera is a grape. Sometimes the wine name combines the grape and the village, like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
In addition, government regulations define areas where specific wines can be made using the acronyms DOCG, DOC, and IGT. According to Gambero Rosso, there are 60 DOCG wines, 332 DOC wines and 119 IGT wines.
To complicate issues further, some vintages are much better and some wineries earn coveted awards and high ratings from wine critics. Italy has 2350 producers and 20.000 wines. Gambero Rosso awarded “3 Glasses” to only 375 of those wines. The top performer is Angelo Gaja, “edging toward a 5th star with 49 awards.” Generally, truly great wines improve with age because they gain complexity and character, just like many people.
The Italian government regulates the wine industry and provides production parameters for winemakers. To understand these parameters, we can construct a pyramid that represents the quality of Italian wine. At the pinnacle, we will place the hypothetical best wine with the most restrictive production guidelines and at the base of the pyramid we can aggregate the table wines that do not have to adhere to stringent quality guidelines.
These designations formally recognize the areas in Italy that are noted for prestigious wine production. To differentiate these wines the government has created an evolving paradigm with rigid labeling requirements. These rules describe the exact geographic location of the grapes, aging parameters, permissible grape varieties that can be used in blends, alcohol content policies, pruning and trellising systems and winemaking practices.The most restrictive and elite designation is: DOCG, Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. This designation implies that:
1. The location is certified and guaranteed
2. It requires longer aging periods and lower yields per vine
Piedmonte produces the highest proportion of DOCG wines including Barolo, “The King of Wine.” Watch this video about wine from Piedmonte http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEIYj7LJea4.
I just read a story on Twitter by Alfonso Cevola who generated a new “Complete Regional List” of 71 DOCG Italian wines with a great “Interactive Italy Wine Map.” He also referenced Franco Ziliani and Hande Leimer for “alerting him to this development.”
Alfonso’s Complete (Provisional) Listing of Italian DOCG Wines (as of June 29 2011) :
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Colline Teramane”
Aglianico del Vulture
Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale
Fiano di Avellino
Greco di Tufo
Aglianico del Taburno
Emilia Romagna (2)
Albana di Romagna
Colli Bolognesi Classico Pignoletto
Friuli-Venezia Giulia (3)
Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit (including Picolit Cialla)
Cesanese del Piglio
Canellino di Frascati
Sforzato della Valtellina
Moscato di Scanzo
Vernaccia di Serrapetrona
Verdicchio di Matelica
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico
Offida (Rosso & Bianco)
Asti – Moscato d’Asti
Barbera del Monferrato Superiore
Barolo (including Chinato)
Brachetto D’Acqui (or Acqui)
Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore (or Dogliani)
Dolcetto di Ovada Superiore
Gavi (or Cortese di Gavi)
Roero (Rosso & Bianco)
Erbaluce di Caluso
Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato
Dolcetto Diano d’Alba
Vermentino di Gallura
Cerasuolo di Vittoria
Brunello di Montalcino
Elba Aleatico Passito
Morellino di Scansano
Vernaccia di S.Gimignano
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Torgiano Rosso Riserva
Colli di Conegliano
Montello Rosso or Rosso del Montello
Friularo di Bagnoli
Recioto di Gambellara
Recioto di Soave
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore
Asolo Prosecco Superior
Amarone della Valpolicella
Recioto della Valpolicella
Piave Malanotte (or Malanotte del Piave)
Colli Euganei Fiori d’Arancio
Click here on Alfonso Cevola’s Wine Trail map and hit the magnify button when you get there to enlarge the map; or click on the map and enlarge…Enjoy! Thanks for you great map Alfonso!!!!
Salute from Dr. EveAnn Lovero who writes Italy Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com
- Taste Washington 2012: A Food and Wine Festival in Seattle (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Vini d’Italia Tre Bicchieri 2012 in Chicago (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Italian Buglioni Wine Dinner at Francesca’s Amici in Elmhurst Illinois (vinoconvistablog.me)
- The Ten Most Seductive Places to Drink Wine in Italy (vinoconvistablog.me)
- 20th Annual Paso Robles Zinfandel Wine Festival 2012 in California (wine-festivals.vinoconvistablog.com)
- Gioco Restaurant’s Winter Wine Event in Chicago (vinoconvistablog.me)
- 46th Annual VinItaly 2012 in Verona (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Juliet’s Balcony makes Verona Italy the City of Love (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Hemingway’s Valpolicella and the Quintarelli Legacy (dobianchi.com)