Vinitaly, the annual International Wine and Spirits Exhibition is being held between 6 - 9 April this year in Verona, one of Italy's most renowned wine regions.
It is at this time each year that Maurizio Ugge, General Manager of Arquilla, dedicates significant time in Italy visiting producers and discovering new and exciting wines to add to our Italian wine portfolio.
First held in 1967, Vinitaly is now considered one of the most prestigious events on the international wine calendar, acting as a measure of the health and success of the current market for producers in the Italian wine industry.
The highly anticipated wine competition is divided into categories of wine type – dry wine, sweet wine, still wine, sparkling wine and fortified wine – as producers vie for medals, awarded as Grand Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze and the opportunity to showcase their award-winning wines to industry luminaries.
Vinitaly also presents the perfect opportunity to release new wines and wine styles and to announce strategic partnerships.
This year's Vinitaly was held across fourteen pavillions, each containing stands for the most prominent and outstanding Italian wine producers.
Among the stalls was Castellare di Castellina, a vineyard of about 80 hectares in the heart of the Chianti Classico area, close to the village of Castellina in Chianti. Located on the hills of a natural amphitheatre, Castellare produces about 250,000 bottles of wine per year.
Founded in 1893, the Cantina Terlano winery is a cooperative in South Tyrol, with a current membership of 143 growers working a total area of 165 hectares producing 1.2 million bottles of wine a year. Terlano produces 30 percent red and 70 percent white wines, all of them of DOC quality (Controlled Designation of Origin).
Cantina Tramin is based in Termeno on the Strada del Vino. The owners of the winery are the 300 growers who farm vineyards in the subzones of Termeno, Ora, Montagna and Egna. This area, nearly 250 hectares in total, is the cradle of the Gewürztraminer grape.
Situated in the Manzoni Soprani area of Monforte d’Alba, Rocche dei Manzoni was originally established in the 1700s, commencing its modern era in 1974, when wine great Valentino Migliorini purchased the vineyards. Production began with the traditional varieties of Dolcetto, Barbera, and Barolo, before Migliorini planted Chardonnay, the first to do so in the area. In 1976 he produced Bricco Manzoni (80% Nebbiolo and 20% Barbera) along with Quatr Nas, an innovative blend of Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Nero, and Merlot.
The Pio Cesare winery was founded in 1881 by Cesare Pio, who was one of the first wine producers to believe in the potential the local wines of Piemonte, such as Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera.
For five generations, the Pio Cesare family has been producing traditional Piemontese wines in its ancient cellars, located in the centre of the town of Alba.
Livio Felluga is recognized as the man who re-established Friuli's winemaking heritage after the Second World War that had seen the rural population move away abandoning the crops. Convinced that only high-quality viticulture could breathe new life into the Friulian countryside, Livio began to restore old vineyards and plant new ones, introducing innovative ideas and techniques.
Production includes single-variety whites as well as the elegant Terre Alte, a skilful blend of Tocai Friulano, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon, and Illivio, obtained from a special selection of Pinot Bianco grapes.
But the jewel in the Livio Felluga range of whites is Picolit, a complex, warm and mellow wine that balances sweetness and tangy acidity.
Red wine production includes varieties such as Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso and Merlot.
Comprising of a 960 acre estate, I Collazzi was built on the ruins of a Roman fort by Michelangelo. Despite its vastness, it only has 50 acres of planted vines that are responsible for the production of a Chianti Classico called I Bastioni.
The Librandi winery is a modern enterprise founded in 1950, but the family has been working with wines for centuries. Four generations of wine-growers lie behind Antonio and Nicodemo Librandi and their nephews Raffaele and Walter, who remain faithful to the principles that inspired their forefathers.
The Collavini story began in 1896 when founder Eugenio Collavini supplied wine to the noble families of Udine. The company passed through the family and achieved great success under the care of Eugenio’s son Manlio, who was one of the first to take Friulian wines abroad and established the new cellar at the Castello Zucco-Cuccanea in Corno di Rosazzo in 1966.
Manlio was one of the first to believe in Pinot Grigio fermented off the skins, as long ago as 1969, and in 1971, he created Il Grigio, a trend-setting sparkling wine, which was later joined by Ribolla Gialla Brut. Today, Collavini is a family-owned limited company managed by Manlio and his sons Giovanni, Luigi and Eugenio.
Owned by the famous Guicciardini and Strozzi families, Cusona's wines have been lauded by popes and poets. The exceptional soil quality of the San Gimignano region, the warmth of the Tuscan sun, and the estate's pioneering agricultural practices have put Principi Guicciardini Strozzi's distinctive Chianti and Vernaccia in lights.
The Marenco estate, managed by sisters Michela, Patrizia and Doretta Marenco, produces solid Barberas and Dolcettos, but it is best known for its exquisite dessert wines from the white Moscato and red Brachetto grape varieties.
The vineyards of the Santa Barabara estate form a natural amphitheatre where local grape varieties such as Verdicchio and Montepulciano are grown alongside international grapes such as Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.
Working hard to champion the native grapes of the island such as Monica, Vermentino and Cannonau, Argiolas also have an established experimental vineyard. Here, dozens of non-native grape varieties are grown and tested, as well as several clones and selections of traditional varieties. The patriarch of the wine-making family, Antonio Argiolas, was a true innovator as he was the first to plant vine rows and to join vineyards together. Today, the winery is run by the third Argiolas generation: Antonio’s grandchildren.
Aspiring to excellence, owners Gaetano and Pio Francesco Tamellini have earned the estate an outstanding reputation as one of only two-dozen, estate-bottled growers and producers of authentic Soave. With the assistance of Paolo Caciorgna, one of Italy's most accomplished white winemakers, the metamorphosis from supplier to producer began in 1998. Less than 10 years later, Tamellini's Soave has become one of the world's most enjoyable white wines.
The Frescobaldi family’s start in wine production is documented at the beginning of the year 1300 at the historic estate of Tenuta di Castiglioni in Val di Pesa, southwest of Florence. By the beginning of the 1400s great Renaissance artists such as Donatello and Michelozzo Michelozzi had become faithful clients. A century later the Frescobaldi wines were served at the tables of the Papal Court and the English Court of Henry the Eighth.
Monte Rossa was established in 1972 when the entrepreneur Paolo Rabotti and his wife, Paola, began growing their first grapes. They adopted the twin philosophies of using traditional artisan methods and modern technology and this together with their passion for research has resulted in the no compromises attitude to great wine making for which the company is renowned.
Angelo Negro has been a leading estate in the Roero district, and a family affair since 1670. Today, it is led by Giovanni who is also mayor of Monteu Roero. His wife Marisa and children Gabriele, Angelo, Emanuela and Giuseppe all hold various positions and contribute to the running of the estate. Their vineyard situated in the historic region that still bears the name of the powerful and influential Medieval banking family, Roero, is home to the two most lauded grape varieties of this beautiful region, the Nebbiolo and the Arneis.
Villa Medoro was established by Luigi Della Loggia in 1966. His granddaughter, Federica Morricone, a young and powerful entrepreneur, took control of the estate in 1996, at the very young age of just 22 years old. Since then, she has completely changed the objective of the company to focus on making high-quality wine that starts directly in the vineyard with low grape yields per hectare, a feature that is somewhat unique in a region that often prioritizes quantity versus quality. “Villamedoro l’anima del vino” or “Villa Medoro is the soul of wine” is the motto and driving concept behind this company.