“I Pisani più Schietti 2018”

 

“I Pisani più Schietti 2018”   è l’evento dedicato alla premiazione e promozione  delle migliori Etichette di Vino a Pisa e Provincia

Quest’ anno la splendida rassegna tutta Made in Pisa organizzata “Fisar di Pisa” ,  si è svolta il 2 di Dicembre  2018 all’ interno del “Palazzo Gambacorti” , con una sezione dedicata al pubblico , e una dedicata agli addetti del  lavoro con una degustazione guidata dei vini in concorso . Ho avuto il piacere e l’onore di partecipare a quest’ultima parte della kermesse sul Vino Pisano   riservata agli esperti del settore, a cui hanno partecipato personalità di spicco del  Mondo del Vino, sia da un punto di vista tecnico che da quello prettamente comunicativo e commerciale: 

Un lavoro di squadra che ha visto impegnati la “Fisar di Pisa”, le Aziende Vinicole di Pisa e Provincia, il  “Comune di Pisa”, la “Camera di Commercio di Pisa”  e il “Museo della Grafica di Pisa”. Si sono presentate  31 Aziende , ci sono stati più di 80 vini in gara contro i circa 50 dello scorso anno! L’interesse e la partecipazione è notevolmente aumentata rispetto alle edizioni passate.

I Vini in gara comprendevano 12 etichette di 12 grandi Aziende Vinicole di Pisa e Provincia, per analizzare, ma soprattutto per  scoprire insieme alle caratteristiche vitivinicole dei diversi territori, l’unicità Vino Pisano.

Ecco di seguito le premiazioni per Categoria di Vino e Azienda: 

La Toscana è sempre stata terra di grandi campanilismi. Firenze, Siena e Lucca si presentano con grande compattezza dal punto di vista enologico, Pisa si configura come un mosaico le cui tessere sono ancora da comporre: si produce del Chianti, e questo lo accomuna alla Toscana enologicamente più classica, ma d’altra parte ci sono produzioni di vini di carattere più meridionale, realizzati a pochi chilometri dal bolgherese a cui si saldano attraverso la Strada del Vino Costa degli Etruschi.  

Stanti questi limiti, il fatto che i produttori più importanti ed affermati fra le Aziende Vinicole di Pisa e Provincia abbiano deciso di aderire a questa  manifestazione indica in positivo una volontà di riguadagnare una Identità Territoriale fin ora ritenuta poco rilevante dal pubblico più vasto. “I Pisani più Schietti 2018”   è un segno tangibile che le cose stanno cambiando. C’è nell’aria la voglia, il desiderio di unire le forze per correre insieme, ognuno a proprio modo, verso un traguardo unico: donare in un bicchiere lo splendore di Pisa. Il  Vino  di Pisa e provincia è Cultura e Tradizione e va tutelato e riconosciuto come un gran valore da parte di tutti. I Vini Bianchi e Rossi di Pisa e provincia meritano tanta attenzione, sono vini interessanti e potenti, che sono prodotti dalla costa tirrenica (Riparbella) fino alle colline che toccano  rinomati borghi storici, come San Miniato, Peccioli, Terricciola e  Volterra.

Il Vino del Territorio di Pisa è anche un forte motivo di richiamo per un Turismo Enogastronomico di Qualità, capace di regalare al Visitatore una città “oltre la Torre” , un gioiello  da scoprire attraverso  percorsi nuovi  in un vasto territorio di antiche origini, un ambiente unico modellato dal lavoro dell’uomo, sintesi delle migliori caratteristiche della Toscana; un paesaggio capace di stupire per varietà, colori e qualità dei prodotti. 

Enjoy it !

Stefania

Mare DiVino Livorno 2018

Si svolge al Terminal Crociere Piazzale dei Marmi di Livorno la  X Manifestazione MareDivino 2018 , organizzata dalla Fisar di Livorno per degustare le eccellenze vinicole della Toscana: un percorso di grandi  vini che vanno da Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Montescudaio, Riparbella, Bibbona fino all’ Isola d’Elba e Capraia .

MareDivino 2018 è un anteprima delle eccellenze enoiche della Toscana, un’occasione unica di conoscenza e  promozione del territorio che si svolge sempre ogni anno  e con grande successo dal 17 al 18 Novembre . Nelle due giornate di MareDivino 2018 , sono presenti Wine Lovers ed Esperti del Mondo dell’Enogastronomia da ogni angolo d’Italia: molti produttori di olio, cibo, salumi, miele, formaggi, farine, e tanto altro, sono insieme per far conoscere le eccellenze regionali e non, esaltate dalla passione e dal lavoro delle persone che le interpretano e realizzano. Ho l’occasione di conoscere etichette  di nuove aziende , e di parlare con gli stessi produttori che raccontano le loro storie con passione dedicandomi un pò del loro tempo. 

Elenco qui di seguito  le  Cantine Toscane che mi hanno colpito in modo particolare:

Oltre  60 aziende e 300 vini in assaggio a MareDivino 2018   , e la curiosità degli appassionati  è risvegliata da un interessante Concorso : “Rosso Buono Per Tutti”, una selezione “a giuria popolare” con assaggio alla cieca dei vini rossi più graditi alla fiera. 

Trovo MareDivino 2018 una grande iniziativa, perché coinvolge un grande pubblico, e anche io mi sento partecipe in prima linea di questo imperdibile  evento organizzato in ogni minimo dettaglio, che mi regala delle belle emozioni e soprattutto nuove conoscenze in fatto di vino da  riproporre a cena con le persone a me care in questo periodo di feste! Questa indimenticabile manifestazione mi fa riscoprire anche Livorno, che invito vivamente a visitare., per il suo fascino, la sua storia e l’ospitaltà della gente. La splendida giornata volge al termine . E concludo in bellezza con una  cena insieme a  degli amici livornesi in un locale storico in centro nella città labronica, la   “Vecchia Ciurma” , per assaporare le delizie di mare da me preferite,  crudità di mare e il famoso  “cacciucco”. 

Scusate è ora di andare

Enjoy it! 

Stefania

Roberto Cipresso: a DiVine Novel

… perché se vuoi emozionare, devi provare per primo le emozioni che desideri suscitare…/…if you want to thrill someone,  try first to feel  the same emotions you desire to awake…” . R. Cipresso.

Wine Tasting at “Nautilus” Restaurant, Tirrenia, Pisa. 

Scanning across the bookshelves in my flat, it dawns on me that my collection falls into three categories: Wine, Food & Travel! Three passions that blend in perfect harmony to a special book, that is “Wine, the secret Novel” written by Roberto Cipresso.

This Outstanding Work is available for purchase in occasion of its presentation prepared by the same author Roberto Cipresso. It takes place at “Nautilius”, an elegant restaurant in Tirrenia, Pisa. On 28th November 2018  Andrea Baldeschi, an experienced Sommelier and the owner of the fascinating place by the seaside, invites me for this memorable event. It is especially a Guided Tasting of Wines from Roberto Cipresso’s most significant Labels , paired with delicious  dishes:

 

 

Guests  enjoy the pleasant atmosphere and the refined cooking, and they are under lovely Roberto‘s spellBefore I sit down together with the other people to taste the lavish food, “Nautilius” ‘s  Wine Cellar grabs my attention. After a while , Andrea leads me in a journey through his best Wines, such as “Masseto”, “Le Difese”, “Sassicaia”, “Keber”, “Dom Perignon 2009”, and more over. Andrea is very proud of his fine Wines Collection. He talks with me about his jewellery, his restaurant “Nautilius”. Andrea manages it with great enthusiasm and success since last April, after his former experience in the catering service. Our conversation about his great Wine Cellar goes on , and at a certain point, he tells me about an incredible story about his precious treasure: the White Wine “Chateau Montelena”-he owns the Top “Chateau Montelena” vintages! Let’s go to France! 

 

“Chateau Montelena”’ and the Judgment of Paris.

“Chateau Montelena”’s history is unbelievable. It is in the Napa Valley and California.

Founded just north of Calistoga by a senator and San Francisco entrepreneur in 1882 at the turn of the century, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to “Montelena”’s winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property. He had a dream of  winemaking at the highest quality level. In 1976 “Chateau Montelena” put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year there was an exclusive tasting at the “Inter-Continental” Hotel in Paris. Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California  Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French Judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine was one of their own. In fact, it was “Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay”, rated above all other wines. This seminal event has been memorialized in the book ”The Judgment of Paris,”” by George Taber, as well as in the 2008 feature film “Bottle Shock”. Today “Chateau Montelena”’s distinct 19th century stone structure stands as a quality icon in Napa Valley , consistently producing some of the finest wines in California. Master Winemaker Bo Barrett, Jim’s son, now runs the estate with the help of Winemaker Matt Crafton .

“Wine, the Secret Novel”  by Roberto Cipresso.

At the end of the “Chateau Montelena” ’s tale,Andrea brings me in the main lounge of his ”Nautilius”  to start the gala dinner in honour of  his friend Roberto CipressoI really enjoy Roberto ‘s  sentimental speech about his book “Wine, the secret Novel” . We  all Wine Lovers and Experts are delight to listen to Roberto, while speaking about his passion, Wine ! 

Roberto Cipresso is an Oenologist, a Winemaker, a Writer, but above all he is a Visionary Leader . His way of  life makes him stand out from the rest of the crowd in the Wine Field. I can feel Roberto‘s personality power, while presenting his book.  He can imagine things that others cannot imagine. He sees the whole process of a big picture, and not a single step. He is present and focused, you can connect with him when you  talk about what he has  in mind, when he  teaches you something about Wine, his Travels, his previous job experiences, his Life! 

Roberto Cipresso, a native  of  Bassano del Grappa (Veneto), completes his agricultural studies and starts his  Winemaking career  at the outstanding estate of “Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona” in 1987 . 

Some years later he and two partners founds “Fattoria La Fiorita”, located in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, near Montalcino. He collaborates with well-known  Wine Producers in Italy (“Case Basse”, “Poggio Antico”and abroad (Achaval-Ferrer Winery, Argentina). Roberto ‘s chances to put his professional skills and  ideas about Wine into action are three of his major projects:

 

    • “Winemaking”: a Wine Consultancy for  wine-industry professionals ( in collaboration with his brother Gianfranco, his friend Santiago Achaval , and the Universities of Padova, Venezia, Palermo,Torino, Pisa and Udine); 

 

  • “Wine Circus”: a laboratory aimed at ones who don’t inherit a winery and want to manage a wine label! 

Recalling the most important Roberto‘s enterprising ventures and lifetime achievements awards in terms of Wine & Food  culture, means understanding his complex and sensitive soul: 

 

 

The list would already be too long! Roberto is a creative and multitalented man. Along with the benefits of his many abilities and passions, there is his love for writing, occuring in his books about Wine and its Mystery published between  2006 and 2009:

    • “The Romance of Wine”: my great discovery about an Outline of  Mankind’s History throughout the one of Viticulture Worldwide

 

 

Roberto is also a frequent speaker at different national and international conferences on technical-scientific nature  at Wine Schools and important Universities world-wide.

“Cipresso 43th Parallel”.

Roberto still continues his  incredbile adventure  in his challanging Wine Experiment  entitled “Cipresso 43th”, moving ahead with his ambitious and global vision of the concept of Terroir

“Cipresso 43th” is an attempt to create an Oenological Itinerary using only grapes grown at 43th degrees North Latitude.  According to Roberto’s recent researchesthe 43th Parallel is a magical line with  singular physical/spiritual features for Wine Production. It is  situated halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, running through central and florid places that have shaped the main phases in the evolution of Vine Culture from Mesopotamia  to the USA. A circular line that engulf the Earth among important autochthonous vines:

Roberto demonstrates his  theory about the inimitable  Terroir of Wines produced along the 43th Parallel in his three red Wines  I’m  sipping this evening: 

 

 

In collaboration with the University of Florence, Roberto Cipresso is studying what makes the 43th Parallel so special for Wine Production together with its general aspects (geography, geology, orography, climates, soils, altitudes,etc). Moreover, Roberto remarks that there is Something Magic and Mystical  behind the 43th Parallel, because it is the same axis where holy places are also  located, from Medjugorje, Assisi, Santiago De Compostela to Lourdes . And, of course, that is something very special for Roberto, who think of   himself as an atheist! 

Roberto‘s life is a strivinfor Exellence and Harmony  not only  for Wine, but above all for  Life.  

He is open minded . He doesn’t  limit himself to his own thoughts and ideas. When you talk to him, he listens to what you talk about attentively. He  encourages you to be as creative as possible and never afraid of presenting your point of view! Roberto  gives me a big picture of  his vision about Wine and living in this world. His job  is  an essential part of his existence. It’s not only about running a laboratory or doing analysis, it’s  mainly to be part of making Something Amazing. It’s to combine Science, Creativity and Love, that keeps things interesting, and a  great industry to be in as well. You are surrounded by great Food, Wine, and awesome People. It’s hard work, but very rewarding, like this unforgettable Tasting Dinner skillfully prepared  by Andrea Baldeschi at “Nautilius” restaurant Tirrenia, Pisa. .

Roberto experiments with unconventional colors to find inspiration for his Next Masterpiece, that is still to come! I’m looking forward to it!

Enjoy it! 

Stefania 

 

 

 

Vinoè 2018: Wine Exibition at Stazione Leopolda, Florence

“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.” 
― Charles Baudelaire

Florence is not only the “Cradle of the Renaissance”, because its historical center is a triumph of art, but it’s a lively city . There are lots of things to do, such as traditional Festivals, Art and Cultural manifestations that represent the core of the city and its inhabitants. Experiencing Florence in this way means  living the city as a local! 

As the capital of Tuscany, Florence has remarkable Wines, most notably the deep red wine Chianti Classico. Florence offers Wine Festivals lots  all the year long.  In addition, every restaurant, every cafe, sometimes every vendor on the street sells Florence’s best Wines. Above all Tuscany is famous for its Chianti , made with perfect purple Sangiovese grapes grown in the golden sunlight of the Tuscan hills. You’ll also find fine Wines like the”Brunello di Montalcino”, “Pomino Vin Santo” and other “Trebiano White Wines”, and “Moscadello” varieties for sweet wines! It takes a long time to speak about Wine in Tuscany, so it’s better to participate in the Wine Exibition ““Vinoè”, held in Stazione Leopolda, Florence, from from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 October 2018.

“Vinoè”now in its third edition, is  an event dedicated to Italian and International Wine Excellence , and it is organized by FISAR (Italian Federation of Hotel and Catering Sommeliers). There are not only exihibitors with their best bottles of white, sparkling, rosé and red wines, but also cooking shows . 

“Vinoè” is a meeting point for Wine Lovers.  It is possible in 3 days  to discover: 

“Vinoè” is a really beautiful and inspiring experience. There are lots of visitors and I have the fantastic opportunity to taste High Quality Wine such as: 

Three Extraordinary Wineries  give me the idea what Passion for Wine and Life means. 

I want to share with you my favourite Wineries of this unforgettable Wine Kermesse: Claudio Cipressi Winery, Molise”, “Piccini/Tenuta Mora, Tuscany” and “Tenuta del Travale, Calabria”They are 

Claudio Cipressi Winery, is located in San Felice del Molise, Campobasso. Since 2014 it has become officially certified as organic . 

Molise is a beautiful region with a unique landscape. It is largely uncontaminated and the vineyards have great potential, which is why Claudio Cipressi cultivates 16 hectares with enthusiasm. Claudio Cipressi has reintroduced the Tintilia a native white grape variety.

“Tenuta Mora Winery”  is owned by the historic Tuscan Producer Tenute Piccini, one of the most popular brand of Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Brunello Wines in Italy and the world.

“Tenuta Mora  is a boutique Winery located on the Etna volcano, a black mountain looking at a blue shining sea, a unique place able to craft hidden wine gems. The two vineyards of “Tenuta Mora ” are located at about 650-700m in Contrada Rovittello, in the municipality of Castiglione di Sicilia and Contrada Torre, in the municipality of Linguaglossa. The philosophy of “Tenuta Mora Winery” is one grape, one territory. Their main grapes are Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. The average age of vines sits at around 15 years old . Vineyards on the Etna feature extremely fertile volcanic soils at an altitude of 650-700 meters above sea level (2100-2300 ft), with important temperature variations between day and night considerably influencing the quality of the grapes. Other properties under the Piccini umbrella are Valiano in Chianti ClassicoVilla al Cortille in Montalcino, Tenuta Moraia in the Maremma Toscana, and Regio Cantinain the Aglianico del Vulture DOC zone of Basilicata.  They are passionate about Winemaking! 

Tenuta del Travale”  is located in Rovito, Cosenza, a thirty minute drive from the spectacular blue sea of the Tyrrhenian coast in Calabria.

Calabria is a wine region waiting to be discovered. Calabrian Wine has not received the recognition it deserves, even though the region of Calabria has a very long history of vine cultivation. The territory is gorgeous, but the economic problems of the region have prevented it from achieving its full potential. A goal that was pursued with determination by the owners of “Tenuta del Travale” , Raffaella Ciardullo and his husband Nicola Piluso. Today they run this stunning  estate revitalising the old territory.  They carry on the intent of defending the ancient Calabrian origin of Nerello Mascalese with one single label “Eleuteria” (there is  some evidence that Nerello Mascalese may be related to Mantonico Bianco, an ancientCalabrian grape). “Tenuta del Travale” covers two hectares of hilly terrain. Founded in 1993, the estate cultivates today only 2 varieties of vines, Nerello Mescalese and Nerello Cappuccio, from which are produced Red Wines with the IGP recognition

 “Vinoè” 20018 is not only a sensorial experience. It’s the perfect place where you can understand why the story behind each Wine in your glass matters. There’s the Value of Work according to human passion and effort. An example of Authentic Life to follow in the caos of these times!

Enjoy it ! 

Stefania

 

Vinitaly 2018

 Verona, “The City of Love & Wine”.

There is no world without Verona walls
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
Hence “banishèd” is banished from the world,
And world’s exile is deat” (Shakespeare, Act III, Scene III
 
 
There are thousands of reasons to visit  Verona : not only for  Juliet’s balcony, but also for Vinitaly
 
During the Vinitaly I spent a weekend in Verona by friends of mine . Of course this “City of Lovers” has much to offer travellers beyond the famous, dramatic love story.  Verona is a beautiful town with great history, and  most of the sights are very close to each other, so it was possible for me to stroll trough almost all of the town’s must-see places. The best way to start exploring Verona was to go to the Piazza Bra, where you can find many restaurants to have lunch or dinner, and then towards  the famous  Arena of Verona, which resembles the Colosseum in Rome. Nowadays this Roman amphitheatre is used like a concert hall. A further must-see step was  Piazza delle Erbe: a Market Square surronded by elegant buildings (the Old Town Hall,  Torre dei Lamberti,  Palazzo Maffei, the Casa dei Mercanti , etc), with the Madonna Verona Fountain in the heart of the square. It is the central and most beautiful square in Verona, so there are always a lot of tourists drinking coffee in cafes and buying souvenirs, vegetables, and fresh fruits at the market. I  went on crossing the bridge Ponte Pietra through the Adige River then I reached the top and stopped in the little garden near the castle Castel San Pietro. From here the right side of Adige River, with the historic centre of Verona, is clearly visible. Here you can enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the town! Of course, I  couldn’t  forget about  Juliet’s House. The balcony from which Juliet supposedly talked to her Romeo is famous all over the world. It is also believed that if you write the declaration of love or leave the lock with your names on the special wall in the yard, your relationship will be happy. Touching the statue of Juliet in the yard is a sign of good fortune as well!
 

From Piemonte to Veneto, from Tuscany to Puglia to Sicily. Let’s explore together what modern Italian Wines are all about!

Located in the unforgettable city of Verona in Northern Italy, in the heart of ValpolicellaVinitaly is the biggest exhibition about wine in Italy and for sure one of the biggest in the world . Thousands of producers and distributors from all 20 regions of Italy  and from  all over the World present their Wines at the trade fair of Verona (Veronafiere). For Wine Lovers, this is an experience not to be missed! Prior to 2018, I had always heard of Vinitaly, but I had never experienced the wonder myself. I attended Vinitaly, in April, 2018, and and I have to admit I liked  what I saw. Vinitaly is an event of international importance, and it is very big  in terms of products, distributers, and actual surface area. I walked kilometers in one day from one hall to the next and It required not only  a strong passion for wine, but even research , planning and money! With over 4200 vendors from all around Italy and other areas of the world, I  realized I couldn’t  scratch the surface of Vinitaly – above all if attending in only  1 day! I feel like I barely tried any Wines! I would have flown into a couple regions of Italian Wine, but I was able only to  try only a few Wines above all from Sicily (my homeland) , the ones I had in my mind since a lot of time. Here below  my tour! 

Castellaro Winery, Lipari . 

As fate would have it, my first stop was “Tenuta di Castellaro” Winery, Lipari, 

The Estate of Castellaro has its headquarters in Quattropiani, the highest village on the island of Lipari. The owner of the estate is Massimo Lentsch, entrepreneur from Bergamo (Milan area), who fell in love with Sicily and Sicilian Wine. Massimo Lentsch was already producing wine in Dubrovnik, but after a holiday in Lipari,  realized the high potential of this terroir and created this new company. The estate consists of several plots scattered all over the island of Lipari: “Vigna” “Maggiore”, “Lisca”, “Lisca Alta”, “Caolino” and “Gelso” are the main. The greater area is located in “Castellaro” and from this vineyard is after named the estate. A very important event was the meeting between Massimo Lentsch and the winemaker Salvo Foti, founder of the Consortium of Vigneri, who has put his great experience to produce wine in the Eolie islands in the service of the new winery. The goal of the Consortium of Vigneri is to produce wines of excellence, in full respect of the nature and island traditions.  In 2013, after four years of work, in Lipari was inaugurated the cellar of the estate, with a solemn ceremony in which, in addition to local authorities, was attended by a delegation of Japanese operators. This is the largest winery of the Eolie Islands, modern with very low environmental impact, all geared to the natural production of wine, where the wine making process takes place by gravity, without the use of pumps, where the musts are fermented on indigenous yeasts. In volcanic soils rich in pumice and obsidian have found an exceptionally habitat grapes varieties such as Malvasia di Lipari, Carricante and Nero d’Avola, and the wines produced, almost a tribute to the nature of the soil, bear the names of stones.

 

Benanti Winery, Catania, Mount Etna.

Last summer I wanted to go to Mount Etna to visit the “Benanti” Winery, but I couldn’t for several reasons and I promised myself to find a way to do it once in my life!

It’s easy to imagine I dashed for this unique Winery at Vinitaly, that gave me the possibility to meet the producers in person. First thing, I was impressed was for their elegance: their manners, their way of thinking, their personality and their kindness to tell me the story of their family. Antonio Benanti, a charming Sicilian entrepreneur, started talking about their Top Red and White Wines. I tasted them and they are stunning. These wines are unique, because they are produced from three local noble grapes variety you cant’t find nowhere in the world: Carricante (white), Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio! They are so special, because they are located in Mount Etna that is an insane place to produce wine: volcanic soil, wildly unpredictable weather and steep slopes. This  is the reason why Etna has become one of Italy’s most exciting wine regions, creating wines with intense minerality and effusive flavors.  I asked Antonio the secret of their success and he answered simply : “passion, hard job and professionality”. Antonio with his brother Salvino belongs to the new generation of ambitious winemakers that are pioneering the potential’s of Etna vineyards focusing on what it does best.  Twin brothers Salvino and Antonio Benanti, 42,  spent their lives side by side: growing up in Sicily, studying at business school, working banking jobs in London and then returning to Sicily to take over the family winery.  In 2012 their father, Giuseppe Benanti, handed them the “Benanti” Winery . Giuseppe Benanti, now 73, is a third-generation Catania pharmacist who built a successful international ophthalmological products company. In the late 1980s Giuseppe began investing in a dream of making great wines in Mount Etna reviving a family old passion with an extensive and selective study of the Etnean soils. But it was with the twins that there was a qualitative leap. In the past  “Benanti” Winery had lost some of its identity, producing too many wines of varying quality. The brothers knew what they wanted to do and wasted no time:  the day after Giuseppe transferred ownership to his sons, they started a revolution!  The brothers sold off vineyards in southeastern Sicily along with mediocre performers on Etna, dramatically slashed the number of bottlings from more than 20 to 8,  and eliminated use of international varieties. Their idea was to invest in their core wines. Those that “Benanti” Winery  does best are its elegant, single-vineyard Etna flagships: including the Etna White Superiore Pietramarina 2012,  made from the ancient native variety Carricante, and two reds—the Etna Rovittello 2012 and Serra della Contessa 2012 made from local grapes Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. Today the “Benanti” Winery  farms about 30 acres, producing close to 13,000 cases annually. Benanti Wines—which five years ago were exported only to Japan, Norway and one U.S. state—now ship to 30 countries. American distribution has expanded from New York only to 11 other states.  Today Benanti is a prestigious winery and its wines are some of the most awarded in Sicily.

  

Fina Winery, Marsala

Fill your glass with “Kikè” (white,  Traminer and Sauvignon Blanc)  of “Fina” Winery once in your life  ! Can you imagine ?  During a starring summer evening in front of the sea, while having a cosy fish meal somewhere in the Mediterranean! 

It happened to me and finally at the Vinitaly I met Bruno Fina,  the gentle owner of this beautiful and modern winery in Marsala,  who dedicated a little time to me for tasting his gorgeous wines. Fina’s wines are the result of a land in the territory of Marsala that is loved and fought for, they have the taste of the passion and of that grapes that have been wisely turned into wine, thanks to the dedication of the work in the vineyard. They have the familiar warmth and the experience of who has always done wine and has always know how to narrate it. This is how you transmit the hereditary character of the territory and the harmony of the men that search for excellence on a daily basis. Those are the fundamental element of Fina’s winery and for this reason Brunoconsiders his wines as part of his family. Aiming to get the best from the surrounding territory “Fina” Winery has a modern and efficient structure transferring all the passion in rational organization of spaces and processes, in the maximum respect for the integrity of the grapes.

Finally some useful Tips, if you decide to go to Vinitaly next year: 

  • Book Vinitaly tickets in advance on line: they were € 80 per person for a 1 day pass and €145 for all 4 days. If you are affiliated with a Wine-Related Trade (sommelier, restaurant owner, shop owner, blogger, etc.), it is possible to have a discount. If you know someone  who is somehow involved in the Wine Business, they can sign up for a free entrance.  The reason why  Vinitaly is so expensive was because of issues with drunk people in the past.  Lastly, if you are  a journalist, a blogger  and so on, you can request a Free 4-days Pass to Vinitaly;
  • Stay Overnight in Verona: If you have the chance to stay in Verona during the festival, do it! The city comes alive with all sorts of dining and wine events. BUT make sure you make reservations for any dinners in advance, as most restaurants are sure to fill up
  • Stay longer than 1 day:  and figure out a plan; 
  • Go on One of the Last Two Days: If you have to pick a day, pick one of the last two days of the festival. By then, the crowds have died down; 
  • Spend time on Vinitaly’s website:  that offers a plethora of useful information about the philosophy, logistics, and wineries at the festival,  conducting some preliminary research for your visit;
  • Get the Vinitaly App: it lists every single vendor by country, region, and type of wine. the Vinitaly App also has a map of the Event and a location capability that can help you find saved wineries once you arrive; 
  • If you want to get to Vinitaly consider public transport: if you’re coming from outside of Verona. I  caught a train to Verona Porta Nuova (main train station), then immediately hopped on the Vinitaly free shuttle bus. It dropped us off right in front of the event, and it took only 3-4 minutes to drive. There are multiple free shuttles running all over the city. See theVinitaly website for more info; 
  • Go Early: plan to arrive right at 9:30 when the doors open. Your chances of peacefully enjoying some wine are much higher earlier in the day; 
  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: I’d recommend choosing somewhere in between from casual to formal dress , but please  comfortable shoes for walking around the event itself!
  • Be smart: this event is huge and there are thousands of wines you can try.  You don’t have to try every single wine from every winery. Another strategy? Sip and spit. Really. You can try WAY more wine if you can manage spitting out much of the wine. That’s literally what the dump buckets are there for. No one will look at you weird!; 
  • Bring lots of Business Cards: If you are in a wine-related business in any way, bring lots of business cards. This event is a wonderful opportunity for networking and getting to know people; 
  • Food brought from home:  there are multiple places you can eat at the event, that means an endless queue and an additional cost . Anyway, there are lots of  cafes around the event in case you need something strong to awake your self from sleep! 

Vinitaly is the Wine-Education Experience of a Life Time: You can get an amazing wine education experience at Vinitaly.

 

Enjoy it! 

Stefania