Vinitaly, Notes on Day One

It is nearly impossible to gauge the importance of the world’s largest wine fair. VinItaly has for more than 50 years been steadfastly championing the diversity and charm of Italian wines.

To give you a simplistic breakdown of the attendance and interest in VinItaly, the managing company VeronaFiere logs about 4,000 exhibitors + 150,000 visitors, including 2,600 journalists from 46 different countries, during the four-day fair.*

In addition to promoting traditional ‘intentional’ wine producers, exhibitors and visitors, the fair has been a leader in the ‘minimalist’ wine movement, promoting certified organic producers from around Italy and the world.

winewithoutwalls_logoWine Without Wall’s was a ‘natural’ wine competition for low-sulfur and minimal interventionist wines. A list of winners can be found here.

The competition pairs with VinitalyBio (in Pavillion 8), and features 66 individual certified organic and ‘natural’ wine producers.

banner_wanted_itaAs of 2015, members of the trade — buyers, educators, sommeliers, Masters of Wine, and Master Sommeliers — were being offered the opportunity to take the Vinitaly International Academy Certification Course.

Led by Italian native wine grape specialist, Ian d’Agata, the rigorous and challenging certification focuses on one week of learning and an in-depth exam that includes tasting and identifying the qualities of Italy’s native grape varieties and the methods of their production.In 2015, 26 of 55 candidates passed the exam, becoming the first Italian Wine Ambassadors. In the days leading up to VinItaly 2016, 25 additional candidates were added to the pool of international Italian wine specialists. Subsequent years have added additional specialists and ambassadors

VinItaly would like to have a pool of 200 Italian Wine Ambassadors by 2020. The current pool of Italian wine experts groomed by Agata through the Academy feature Ambassadors from Canada, China, Brazil, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Beyond the promotions and throughout the elaborately conceived stands, the passion for Italian wine is contagious.

After 16 years in the wine business it is very easy to feel invigorated as I walk these halls, learning about new wines, meeting the people who do the work that continues to keep Italian wines at the top of the list of wine producing countries.

These are a few of my favorite tastings and meetings from the first day of the conference.

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Benanti Winery, Mount Etna, Sicily

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Nerello Mascalese, Tentuta di Aglaea, Mount Etna, Sicily

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An elegant Ripasso Classico Superiore by Valpolicella producer, Le Marognole—a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Corvinone


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Wine Writers Jeremy Parzen and Adua Villa take a moment for some sustenance during the fair

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Certified Organic Babeasca Neagra from La Spata, Romania, along the Black Sea— in VinItalyBio


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A wonderful white crossing, Bruni 54, from Paolini & Stanford ‚ in VinitalyBio

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A Certified Organic Bordeaux blend from the Marche, by Paolini & Stanford

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Method Ancestrale Prosecco from Bele Casel, VinItalyBio

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Ammàno, Pure Zibbibo from Sicily’s Cantine Barbera

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Mid-Day reality check with Dr. Francesco Ditta, of Vinifera Imports

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A sultry and youthful Brunello from Il Marronetto*

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Chewy Sagrantino by Bocale*

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Two faces of organic Sagrantino, one for laying down, the other (Etnico) for everyday, by Di Filippo Wines*

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A mini conference with Dr Ditta and Dr Brittany Carlisi of Indigenous Selections

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Elegance in a bottle, Soto Casa, by Boscarelli*

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Yes, Tempranillo, from Tuscany, by Vigna alle Nicchie*

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Finally, some bubbles to end the concourse — Champagne Tribault, Brut Origine*

*A special note of thanks to Riccardo Garbriele at PR Vino


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