My Vinitaly 2011
My Vinitaly 2011 is the full report from my own experience at the biggest fair of the italian wine worldwide.
Read along my report: 1 day in Verona, among busy stands, immense wines and an unbelievable crowd.
But, also, an insider's view into the backstage of most stands, with the expert's guidance of a weathered and reliable business man, a lifetime in wine trading, our "insider" Silvano.
Thanks to Silvano, this Vinitaly 2011 has been a memorable and unique experience, in direct connection with one of the most important faces of the italian "brand" and industrial reality.
What's Vinitaly 2011
Far from being (solely) a noisy and extremely busy display of the masterpieces of the italian wine production, this Vinitaly is the official expo of the italian wine production system to the world.
As such, it is the formal instrument of the "Ministero del Commercio" since 1966.
Over 4000 producers (!) present, at their own stand, the results of their expertise and production; each of the 21 italian regions are represented across 18 maxi-tents, where a daedalus of streets and ways that create the road of the italian wine unwinds.
Taking place from Thursday, April 7th through to the following Monday, April 11th, a 5-days visit (I have been visiting on the Saturday only) is by far not enough to experience everything the Vinitaly has to offer.
The sheer amount of producers makes it highly unlikely that you would manage to visit all the stands (let alone taste all the wines!).
Yes, the Vinitaly is not just a display of wines; visitors can "freely" taste from the range of products from each wine-maker.
It has to be said that, with a price of 40 EUR for a daily ticket, it could appear as the entrance is not coming in cheap.
But this is no ordinary "fair": wine makers from all over the Bel Paese are confronted with expenses and organizational efforts to maintain their stands in full operation... with the wine "flowing" :)
Do not get me wrong, Vinitaly is about "tasting" wine, not about merely "drinking" it - nor it should be.
What it means is that small amounts are poured by expert sommeliers, so that a bottle is not depleted by a few "enthusiasts" and that the experience can be appreciated by more people and for a longer period of time.
As it becomes soon evident to the majority of the casual visitors, there is a limit to what's poured into the glasses though, and I am not simply talking about the quantity of wine that can be tasted.
The majority of the producers would simply not make available for tasting the top of their production... that is, not if you aren't part of the "invited" guests... as we were!!!
As such (thanks to Silvano and my uncle Mario!) we had a tour of selected stands, spanning 4 regions of the North-East (Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Lombardy) where we were treated like guests at the royal wedding.
With a table "reserved" for us at each stand, we were displayed (and offered for tasting!) the more (and the less) usual wines, often while being served special accompaniments of "finger food" made out of other typical products of the regions.
It's really been a mesmerizing experience.
So, then, after this opening, here's the account from "my" Vinitaly 2011! :-)
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