Vinitaly to host ‘star-spangled’ OperaWine 2018

Vinitaly will open its 2018 fair with homage to Italy’s long-standing cultural links with the United States, embracing the works of American street artist Shepard Fairey at its annual OperaWine showcase at the Palazzo della Gran Guardia in the heart of Verona.

Shepard Fairey’s now famous Obama poster, created for the 2008 presidential campaign.

Taking place on 14 April, and hosted in partnership with Wine Spectator, OperaWine 2018 will celebrate not only Italy’s finest wine producers, but street artist Shepard Fairey in an effort to challenge people to think about Italian wine in the same way as street art: “refreshed, rejuvenated”, said organisers.

Fairey is best-known for having created a series of colourful posters for Obama’s 2008’s presidential campaign, with this trademark style of using simplified lines and geometry, and the red, the white, and the blue, used for OperaWine 2018’s own posters, that will adorn the Palazzo della Gran Guardia.

Combining the urban movement’s energy and one of its presumed places of origin – the US – Vinitaly has put together a “star-spangled OperaWine 2018”, that will feature 107 producers nominated by Wine Spectator.

The tasting has traditionally opened Vinitaly since 2012, presenting a portrait of the best Italian wine producers and a networking opportunity for wineries. This year’s selection features a range of products from the northern region of Valle d’Aosta to the Southern island of Pantelleria, from hundred-year-old wineries to the those newly established.

On its comeback to the Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Marchesi Antinori, said: “We are honoured to be part of Wine Spectator’s “100 Great Producers” with our historical winery. Founded in 1904, Prunotto has been selecting the best cru in the Alba area of Langhe since its very beginning. The wine we will present, Barolo Bussia 2011, celebrates our 50th anniversary of production from the single vineyard of Bussia.”

The event’s posters, based on Fairey’s original 2008 Obama poster

Of the 107 wineries attending, 13 made it through the selection for the first time: Quintodecimo, Gravner, Mamete Prevostini, Bortolotti, Nino Franco, Leone de Castris, Pietradolce, Serraglia, Tenuta San Leonardo, Boscarelli, Tenuta di Trinoro, Maculan.

“For us, it surely is a source of pride, as well as a stimulus to keep up with the quality standards and enhancement of our grape varieties and territory,” said Serena Guida for Leone de Castris on its selection.

“In addition, it occurs on the occasion of the 75th Five Roses harvest, the very first Italian rosé wine, which we have been producing since 1943.”

Similarly, Mateja Gravner, of Gravner, added: “It’s a real honour to be part of the wineries selected for the seventh edition of OperaWine and it represents a good opportunity to meet both the producers and the foreign press involved.”

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