Stories from VINO2011 (2)
What a week in New York City.
And on and on.
Lucky to get out only 24 hours late.
Here are a few highlights from the four days of Vino2011, also known as Italian Wine Week, presented by the Italian Trade Commission and one of the best weeks of the wine year for fans of Italian wines.
One of my highlights was heading through the storm to NASDAQ and watching Cristina Mariana-May of Castello Banfi, Marilisa Allegrini of the Veneto wine producer Allegrini and Giovanni Montovani, the CEO of Verona Fiere (organizers of VinItaly and the VinItaly WorldTour) ring the closing bell.
Also along for the event were representatives (I’m sorry I can’t find their names in my notes, made soggy by the constant snowfall) to accept a $45,000 donation to the American Cancer Society by VinItaly.
Why would an Italian corporation make such a hefty donation to an American group?
Montovani said simply that he and others who spend their days in the world of Italian wine “feel very fortunate and it is our honor to share our good fortune with those in need.”
And to show how serious about sharing the Italians are, last September they gave an additional $25,000 to the ACS after a “VinItaly Day at Eataly” benefit.
Part of the ceremony too was the unveiling (at least for me) of the video campaign (which first was announced last November) for the commemorative 150th anniversary wines (one white, one red) with grapes from all 20 regions of Italy.
The 150th anniversary commemorative wine concept was conceived by Ettore Riello, president of VeronaFiere, after an idea from Giorgio Napolitano, the president of the Italian Republic. Folks at Vinitaly embraced the idea and the blends were created by a group of Italy’s leading winemakers.
The actual wines (don’t get excited: only a handful of bottles will be produced and, no, you don’t get one) will be introduced on March 17, the anniversary day of Italian independence.
I believe it was the VinItaly PR department that came up with the memorable “1 Nation, 2 Bottles, 20 Regions, 40 Grapes, 150 Years” campaign. You can see a list of the varietals here, with thanks to Serge Lescouarnec.
No one is saying just what the blends are nor how the wines taste, so that will remain a mystery until the first bottle is opened, if it ever is opened and not put in a showcase somewhere.
Later the same day of the NASDAQ festivities (which closed up for the day, probably due to all the great karma) a charity wine tasting was held at the ACS Hope Lodge featuring Banfi and Allegrini wines.
I had the opportunity to chat with (interview) Marilisa during a brief quiet moment toward the end of the tasting, just before she had to leave. It had a been a long day for everyone and she was off to dinner.
I’ll write about our conversation tomorrow.