Vinitaly 2009 and Italian wine
April 15, 2009
Another year, another Vinitaly. Last year the event coincided with the Brunello scandal and all attention was for the wine makers involved, luckily, this year, we were back to business even though in a more sober way. The 2009 has not started very well for the wine industry and exhibitors at the Vinitaly were expecting less visitors and I have to say that, to me, there were; however, numbers released by the organizers were showing more visitors than ever.
The Vinitaly is always a fantastic event to catch up with producers already known to taste new wines and vintages but also to discover new wines. Currently, the Italian wine industry is experiencing a renaissance, rediscovering grapes once lost or unknown outside the area, and making wines reflecting the terroir and the characteristics of the grapes. After the tendency of the last few years, where all Italian wine makers were trying to, to fight the competition from new world wineries, imitate new world wines style, have finally realised that if Italy is going to win the battle is not imitating but creating, using the countless native grapes and the skills in making wine that no other country has.
Another positive surprise, this trend started several years ago, is that the overall quality of Italian wine is improving a lot. As I was discussing with a couple of colleagues during the event, a lot of wine makers, mainly small family run wineries, are now producing good wine benefiting the whole Italian wine industry, still only few makes outstanding wines, but sometime the difference between good and outstanding is not obvious for the non expert wine drinker. On the opposite side, we have famous names that are moving more and more towards becoming factory of wine with a very few exceptions but very expensive and, big companies or cantine sociali that are still producing very poor quality wines intended for cost driven wine consumers that, in the UK, are often the ones on offer from supermarkets and very little, in this regard is done by Italian agencies created to protect the Italian wine reputation.
Apart from these general considerations, my Vinitaly has been, as usual, very busy and I have been running for the whole of my stay from one stand to another. Not only I spent sometime with all our producers, but I have also tasted several new wines and I am working on bringing them to the UK wine lovers. I am now working on my notes and will publish several posts about my Vinitaly, so if you want to know what I did, come back soon. A presto
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