Thursday, March 30, 2006

Vinitaly – The Wine Show – Verona Italy

Verona is a beautiful Roman city. So many fantastic things to see and the Arena is one of the favorite destinations for opera and concerts. Any time of year there is something to do or see but shortly the wine trade show starts. The primary wine show for southern Europe, Vinitaly, will be held from April 6 to April 10 in Verona, about 100 km east of Milan.

All of the primary producers will be there. More importantly all of the smaller local producers present at the fair. This is an opportunity to find marvelous wines, and not just the biggest names. The fair is for operators only, but you can find a way to get tickets if you talk to your local distributor. The cost is about 35 Euro per person and is well worth the price. Arrive early and stay all day. Leave your inhibitions at the door and try the wines you do not know. Go slow, eat often, and drink a lot of water, there will be more wine offered than what you could consume in a month.

Wine is broken down by region and composition. This means that there are just about as many types of wines as there are little towns. Then each type of wine will also have numerous producers. Each producer will ferment and age the wine according to his traditions and the specific structure and taste he is looking for.

Just like here in the US the big companies get distribution but may, or may not, have a good product; the same thing happens in wine country. I have found that most of my favorites have rather limited distribution and cost less than their better-known competitors. Vinitaly is a great opportunity to discover some of these wines. Most present at the fair will be able to ship to the US and most likely have distribution agreements with US importers. Should you find a wine that you really like and it is not available in the US then take note of the producer and let your local store know you would like that wine. If your local distributor is not able to act, let me know here on the blog and I will see if I can get the ball rolling a bit.

The tradeshow is an opportunity to understand the pride and quality of workmanship that is part of every bottle. The owner, his wine master and often the family will also be present during the show. If you take the time, and show a bit of interest, he will speak, with great pride, of his grapes, the soil, and the antique tradition of how his wine is produced. The regional plates will most likely come into the discussion as he explains why his wine is perfect.

Many Italian producers are moving to the next level of the wine experience, offering a complete range of lodging solutions at the winery. The solutions may be agriturismo where you can work in the winery or vineyards, bed and breakfast, and luxury accommodations where regional foods and wine compliment a day of rest and relaxation of spas, dancing, tours, and various other activities. Many special offers will be available by the vineyard during the show.

Additionally there will be wine-tasting packages offered by magazines that are attempting to gain name recognition. One such offer is by Il Percorso della Piacevolezza. Look for these offers both at the entrance when you pick up your ticket and go to their booth.

This year I will not be able to attend Vinitaly but many of my friends will be. Be sure to check out Camponeschi, Produttori del Barbaresco, Castello di Monastero, and Il Borro. The Italian wine guy will also be publishing his experiences while there.


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Blogger Tracie P. said...

this will be the second vinitaly that i will miss since being here in italy:( i have always wanted to go...maybe one day...for this is why i came to italy--to be closer to great wine and the festivals celebrating it, both big and small. oh well, un poco di pazienza.

hopefully italian wine guy will give us the lowdown on some great, obscure little wines! (that's a hint, now)

2:23 AM

Blogger Peace said...

This is a valuable info, great!

7:26 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Tracie b. - you still have a week. Use one of "Volare" tickets from Naples to Verona and have a great time. They may also be able to find that Enotecca you are looking for in Naples.

Peace - well, for us winos uh I mean people who appreciate wine, this is a great destination!

9:16 AM


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