Having been postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vinitaly wine show in Verona has returned this weekend, with plenty to thrill visitors.
Vinitaly’s return to its regular April schedule has been greeted with enthusiasm by its exhibitors, highlighting once again, the recovery of the industry. The 54th iteration of the show, which was originally scheduled to take place in 2020, opened with a bang on Sunday 10-13 April 2022 at the Veronafiere Exhibition Centre, Verona, geared towards wine professionals.
Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of organiser Veronafiere said expectations were high from international operators and exhibitors alike. The show will see around 4,000 exhibitors gather from around the globe to take part in meetings and enjoy some of the show’s 400 events, including in-depth analysis and tastings. Ahead of the show, more than 680 top importers were confirmed to attend – and selling out in advance was a mark of how much the international audience of specialist buyers and operators want to get together in person.
“We have already confirmed delegations from Canada and the US – especially the Midwest, West Coast and Texas – Singapore, Malaysia and, across Europe, from Scandinavia, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, to some of the most interesting Eastern European countries like Poland,” Mantovani said.
Another area of focus is post-Brexit UK, “a market that is still a very interesting outlet despite patchy trends affecting individual products”, he added. North America is also a key area, with more buyers from the US than before, as well as representatives from the monopolies in Ontario and Québec. Interest has also been strong in Asia, with Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and China all accredited (subject to last-minute lockdown measures). As well as existing markets, buyers will be coming from key emerging ones such as Mexico, and countries in Africa, including Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia, and, potentially, Cameroon and Angola.
The show opened with the official OperaWine 2022, the tasting event on Saturday 9 April, held in the former Gallerie Mercatali. This year, it showcases 130 flagship producers, selected to represent Italy’s wine regions. The tasting comprises nearly 100 red wines, along with 22 white, nine sparkling and two sweet wines.
The most popular elements of the show have all returned – organic wine at VinitalyBio, the International Tasting Hall and Vinitaly Tasting, The Doctor Wine Selection in Hall 10 – along with a mixology area that first appeared at the Vinitaly Special Edition in the autumn.
Some of the most eagerly awaited innovations in the wine sector will be on view at Micro Mega Wines – where “micro sized, mega quality” wines from boutique wineries are on show, curated by wine writer Ian D’Agata. Orange wine will makes its debut at this year’s Vinitaly, with a dedicated tasting at the International Wine Pavilion.
Other areas of interest include Vinitaly Design, a section dedicated to accessories for caterers and sommeliers, and sister shows Enolitech, which is dedicated to the technological chain applied to wine-growing, olive growing and beverages, and Sol&Agrifood, dedicated to food, extra virgin olive oil and craft beers.
The face-to-face events is enhanced by the show’s dedicated digital platform, Vinitaly Plus – a tool to facilitate meetings and appointments, and exchange information that is available in 10 languages. The app’s database stores files of more than 15,000 wines from 35 countries that can be easily recalled, using QR codes on the bottles, which can be viewed on a smartphone. Its geo-location functions can also help visitors find their way around the stands and plan their visit more effectively.
Lungarotti, the Italian wine family that brought Umbrian wine to the world will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of its flagship red wine brand, Rubesco. It is launching a limited-edition of 3,300 collector’s magnums containing the 2019 vintage of the Sangiovese and Colorino blend.
Zonin1821’s global marketing director Briony Clark said the company was thrilled to see the return of Vinitaly and to give partners, customers and suppliers the chance to visit Italy again. The company will be showcasing a new brand identity for its Friulian estate Ca’ Bolani that reflects the sophistication and elegance of the wines and the idyllic vineyard. It will also release two organic wines from Chianti Classico as part of its commitment to organic viticulture – the Poggio alle Fate 2020, Chardonnay Toscana IGT, and Castello di Albola Chianti Classico DOCG 2020.
Piccini is launching four products: Pinocchio Rosso d’Italia, Solco Toscana IGT Leggero Appassimento, Collezione Oro Chianti Governo DOCG and Costa Toscana line. “The return of wine exhibitions is a unique opportunity to open new markets, to discover the latest trends and innovations, and to present new projects and new vintages,” the company said.
Masi, which is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year, is launching a line of organically farmed, sustainable wines called Fresco di Masi, that are lighter in alcohol, as well as a Canevel Prosecco in collaboration with fashion brand Diesel. Fellow Valpolicella producer Pasqua Vigneti E Cantine is presenting two organic wines, a Ripasso and an Amarone, from Cascina San Vincenza. Cantina Tramin from Alto Adige is releasing a new Glarea Chardonnay.
Gruppo Vinicolo Fantinel will launch a Prosecco under its Sun Goddess Wines range, created with US musician Mary J. Blige. It follows the success of the range in 40 markets, and builds on the visibility of Blige’s recent album, and Super Bowl performance.
Banfi will be showing the full range of its wines, presenting new vintages, notably the Brunello di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura 2017, Vigna Marrucheto 2017, the Rosso di Montalcino Castello Banfi 2020 and the Summus 2018.
Cavit Trento will also be showing new vintages, including the Rulendis Pinot Grigio, Brusafer Pinot Nero, Bottega Vinai Pinot Grigio, and Bottega Vinai Lagrein. The team says that there has been a strong improvement in its wines since introducing its propriety PICA software system that helps members of the co-operative grow the best-quality grapes possible in the most sustainable way – and Vinitaly allows it the chance to explain the concept to its customers.
Emerging Sardinian winery Antonella Corda will be launching the still Pinot Nero with consultant Federico Staderini. Grown in Oltrepò Pavese, on the 45° parallel, Pinot Nero reaches phenolic ripeness and maturation, while the steep slopes and narrow valleys help create unique climates.
Sparkling wine producer Mosnel will be showing its Riedizione special-edition wines, that have been aged on fine lees for at least a decade, along with the Franciacorta Extra Brut EBB 2016 and Franciacorta Rosé Pas Dosé Parosé 2016.
Cantina Toblino, from the Lakes Valley, north of Lake Garda, near Trentino, will be showing its new Toblino Vènt.
Finally, the Consorzio Asti DOCG (Hall 10 Stand D3) will host 18 Asti and Moscato d’Asti DOCG producers in two areas, as well as having its own Enoteca desk, where sommeliers can help visitors learn about the labels and styles of its wines. It will also present wine-based cocktails in a corner dedicated to mixology.