Highlights of Vinitaly’s Seminar on Artisanal Wines

IMG_3636There’s more to Italian wines than Chianti and Barolo; in fact there’s more to discover than Prosecco, Soave, Valpolicella…the list goes on and on.

But wine is produced everywhere in Italy: throw a dart at a map and you’ll hit a wine-producing area. The problem is you probably won’t recognize the wine. Here’s an amazing statistic: between just Campania and Sardinia, there are 150 grape varieties that have yet to be identified! But a great adventure awaits all wine lovers.

Thanks to a seminar I attended last month in Miami (part of IEEM’s Simply Italian Great Wines Americas and sponsored by the Vinitaly International Academy), called “Are artisanal wines the new Italian icons,” I was able to taste 6 wines that Vinitaly would like wine lovers to experience.(there were supposed to be 7 but all 6 bottles of the wine were corked so that wine was pulled.)

Fortunately I was familiar with the wines, or at least the regions where they originated. So I can confirm that these ‘artisanal’ wines could very well be destined to become Italy’s next wave of wines with worldwide name recognition.

Dr. Ian D'Agata

Dr. Ian D’Agata & Stevie Kim of Vinitaly

As we go through these wines presented at the seminar, it’s a great lesson in geography from north to south so let’s get started:

  1. Gian Paolo e Giovanni Cavalleri Franciacorta Brut blanc de blanc- 100% Chardonnay with a ripe round taste, yellow ripe fruit, less acidic than a Champagne blanc de blanc. This winery has been producing wine since 1450!
  2. Pojer e Sandri Muller Thurgau 2014 IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti- a delightful food wine with significant acidity; Muller Thurgau planted on high altitude has Riesling-like quality
  3. Edi Keber Collio Collio DOC 2014- a wonderful unique wine with aroma and tastes of almonds; made from 70% Friulano, aka Sauvignon Vert blended with Ribolla Giallo and Malvasia
  4. Massa Sterpi 2010- this was my favorite wine! produced from a grape I had never knew existed: timorasso. This wine spent 10 months on lees and 12 months in barrel, with a small percentage of  late harvested grapes; a rich, unctuous wine can age 10/12 years; a Tre Bicchieri award winner
  5. Villa del Cigliano Chianti Classico Cigliano DOCG 2012- a delightful representative of this wine made from Sangiovese blended with 5% Canaiolo and 5% Colorino, red berries & liquorice
  6. De Concilis Naima Aglianico DOC Cilento Riserva Willburger 2005- the Aglianico, Campania’s iconic grape, can be on a par with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. It has rightfully been called “the Barolo of the South.” The rich red fruit grown in Cilento is different than the Aglianico grown in volcanic soil found everywhere else in Campania

Here’s a bit of trivia I learned from the seminar leader, Dr. Ian D’Agata: the word Merlot comes from ‘merle’ or blackbird, hence the dark color.


Author Vin Marottoli

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