Vinitaly is the biggest professional Italian wine fair, help annually in the city of Verona.
Believe it or not, I had never attended this major event of the European wine trade scene.
When thanks to Caiarossa winery, I got offered the opportunity to go, I jumped on the offer and made my way to Verona last week.
— Julien Miquel #Wine (@JMiquelWine) April 13, 2017
But What’s it like at Vinitaly?
Here are a few insights…
If you’re in a hurry, or too busy to read through the post, check out my Memories of #Vinitaly2017 in this 3-minute video:
Meeting Great Wine People
Beyond tasting many wines (you can find all my tasting notes, wine reviews and follow the journey in real time on the wine app Vivino here), attending Vinitaly is about meeting wine people, producers and wine trade professionals.
There are thousands of Italian wineries represented at Vinitaly spread over a dozen buildings (called pavilion), each representing a wine region like Sardegna, Sicilia, Tuscany, Piedmont and many more.
It is so big in fact that you can hardly quite get your head around it during your first event. 4 days (that’s how long the annual event lasts) seems like nothing and time flies by too quickly.
Here are a few producers I particularly enjoyed meeting and tasting the wines with:
The highlight of the journey was to attend two workshops by famous Italian chefs:
Pairing Prosecco Sparkling Wine, Mozzarella & Grana Padano Cheese with Rosanna Marziale:
— Julien Miquel #Wine (@JMiquelWine) April 11, 2017
Pairing Prosecco & Pizza with Star Pizzaiolo Pepe Franco
Learn more about how well Grana Padano Cheese pairs with wine at 2006 Caiarossa Bianco, White Tuscan Wine with Grana Padano Cheese
And Living Wine Experiences
Here are few the fun moments spent at Vinitaly, on and off the event:
The Big Mess
Like everything in life, and particularly wine events, there is the glamor and fun side of things, and the hard-work and hustle element to the story.
In all honesty, it sounds like Vinitaly is the most disorganized and messy international wine event you will ever be able to go to.
The city of Verona is crowded and jammed to start with. Then there are so many people and so much lack or organization around the vent, that it’s difficult to make your way there and back from anywhere really. Patience is the key!
Even when you’re inside the event, it is so crowded in there you struggle to navigate around, get to the winery stands and talk about anything serious with people. A little counterproductive when you’re there to do some business!
On key advice: book your appointments with whoever you want to meet with, but plan for serious delays as many seem to tend to be late!
Welcome to Italy, welcome to Vinitaly!
That said, a great event to attend, if only to live this unique experience. There are many people there, but in the end, in the grand scheme of things, not that many wine professionals get the opportunity to live Vinitaly even once in their lifetime.