VinItaly, Valdobbiadene, Venezia & Valpolicella
Let the Games Begin!
It was whirlwind 4 days filled with wine, meetings, learning, more wine, markets, interesting people, more wine, great contacts, beautiful countryside (and some not) and oh, did I mention wine?!
Little Paradiso, as known as guide and sommelier extraordinaire, was my partner in crime, so I was in very good hands when in came time to meeting so many interesting people and their wines at VinItaly.
The masses waiting to enter each morning...
For those of you who have no idea what VinItaly is (and there are especially if you do not live in Italy), it is a 4-day wine fair in which wine producers from all over the country (and beyond) showcase their product for both buyers and the public. Each region is given it’s on “hall” where wine makers have, in most cases, elaborate displays/kiosks. You can visit Sicily and enjoy the wines of Donnafugata and Morgante. Or the Veneto with its Prosecco (yum) and Amarone (even more yum). Or go for the “norm” in Tuscany, trying the latest Chianti Classico or Brunello. Additionally, there are seminars and private tastings for the wine enthusiast (at an additional cost).
As mentioned, this is open to the public, so you can imagine what the place was like by 4:00PM. But we were there for work and what fun work it was! Here are some of my “highlight” wines from this experience:
“Sherazade” by Donnafugata - a light, very drinkable red wine, a good substitute for heavier reds in the summer, made with Nero d’Avola grapes.
“Lighea” also by Donnafugata - a refreshing wine white made from the Zibbibo grapes of Pantelleria Island. Note: they also have some of the best designed labels I've ever seen.
“Costasera” Amarone by Masi - An absolutely delicious, hearty red made by one of the Valpolicella’s most famous wineries (and the descendants of Dante Aligheri!).
“Valpolicella Classico” by Begali - A perfect “table wine” for meats, chicken and pork made by a small wine producing family (only about 60,000 bottles per year).
“Rosso” by Il Monticello - Probably the biggest surprise for me. A lovely, smooth table red made in Liguria of all places (much more famous for its whites). They are a small producer, not even a web site up and running yet!
What a fun and educational “field trip”.
Thanks LP and looking forward to the next adventure!