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Vinitaly: First Impressions

27 April 2016

Vinitaly: First Impressions

Jennifer Docherty writes:

It was a privilege for me to attend my first Vinitaly with Liberty Wines this year. Italy does not fall under my buying responsibilities so I was excited to discover our Italian producers and their wines.

My first reaction was awe at the size of Vinitaly (95,000 square metres) and second, concern about navigating it. Thankfully, I was given a comprehensive tasting guide that we produce with a map and details of all 67 producers and their stands. I realised after meeting the rest of our group (a bus load), that such a ‘survival guide’ was necessary. We would have all been lost within the massive venue without it.

At the end of the first day, I learned a few survival lessons of my own, eg which producers served food that could serve as a small lunch and which toilets had the shortest queue (It wasn’t in hall 5), but most importantly, I learned about our producers. I was studious, tasted all the wines and came away feeling very fortunate to have access to all these superb Italian producers. From entry level to top end, they all have the ‘Liberty style’; clean and precise but also expressive of their provenance. There is no better example than our Sangiovese range from our producers in Chianti, Montalcino and Montepulciano, each and every one with their own identity.

Wines aside, what really hit home were the family properties with at least two generations working together on the stand. Both so endearing to see and also demonstrative of one of the positive aspects of family run businesses. What I admire, from listening to their stories, was their long term approach. They take their time and put quality above all else, often for the benefit of future generations, rather than for immediate rewards. I find this philosophy often at the root of the wines that I like to drink.

Five good value wines for summer terrace drinking:

  1. A Mano Rosato 2015, Puglia
  2. Terrapieno Soave Classico ‘Foscarino’ 2015, Veneto
  3. Luigi Baudana Bianco Dragon 2015, Piemonte
  4. Franz Haas ‘Lepus’ 2015, Trentino-Alto Adige
  5. Cantine Belisario, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba 2015, Marche

Five ‘treat’ wines:

  1. Vie di Romans ‘Flors di Uis’ 2015, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia
  2. Capezzana Carmignano ‘Villa di Capezzana’ 2012, Tuscany
  3. Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010, Tuscany
  4. Proprietà Sperino Lessona 2010, Piemonte
  5. La Giuva Amarone della Valpolicella 2012, Veneto

Photo credit: Photo Ennevi-Veronafiere