Do you know what a wine influencer does during Vinitaly?
There is more and more talk about wine influencers. But, who are they?
The term “influencer” means a person who influences other people and their choices. Then a wine influencer is a person who influences people in the wine trade. In my opinion, we are all influencers, some more than others. When you need to find a new restaurant, you ask a friend or a member of your family. That person influences you!
People define me as a wine influencer for the large community that believes me.
Now, I’ll tell you what the days are like for a wine influencer during Vinitaly. More precisely, what Vinitaly 2018 was like for me.
Are you ready? Let’s start!
Vinitaly is the main Italian fair in the wine trade. It takes place in Veronafiere (Verona) and it’s available for both wine lovers and professionals. I really love Verona – it’s a lovely city. You’ll surely have seen on my Instagram Stories that I’m often there.
From 15 to 18 of April happened the 52nd edition of Vinitaly. Did you take part in it?
The number of exhibitors for Vinitaly 2018 was 4,380 from 36 countries, mainly Italy. There was plenty for everyone! From the small producers to the top brands, or organic, biodynamic and natural wines. For a better experience, it’s very important to plan the way from one stand to another before entering the fair.
Vinitaly for a wine influencer
Vinitaly 2018 was my 2nd big wine event of the year after ProWein in Düsseldorf. It’s the right place where a person can do business, meet some wine-loving friends (in the picture underlying, I was with Andrea Galanti – the Best Italian Sommelier 2015), or improve his/her wine knowledge of wine, all accompanied by a glass of wine.
A wine influencer already knows which wineries will visit during the fair. Some of them contact wine influencers, or wine influencers contacts them and will enjoy all four days full of appointments.
The goal of the wine influencers is to report on all the happenings to their communities. I had the pleasure to see an increasing approach to social media from the wineries since last year. Instagram, the social media that I prefer, is more used now. And it’s better to show the wines to the public, tagging the winery. Then, people can contact the winery directly with questions.
But back to Vinitaly 2018.
You’ll surely know that Vinitaly is a good place to announce big news. It was for three top Italian brands: Guido Berlucchi, Frescobaldi, and Bisol.
My Saturday morning started in Franciacorta. I was invited to the official launch of Berlucchi ’61 Nature Rosé 2011 from Guido Berlucchi. It’s 100% Pinot Noir, zero dosage, 5 years on the lees. The color is cherry red and the perlage is fine and persistent. On the nose, the bouquet is complex and elegant, with some aromas of small berry fruits. The wine is fresh and well balanced.
After the fair, the owners of the winery, Arturo and Cristina Ziliani, organized a big party with Sagi Rei (Israeli musician), fireworks, and a lot of fun at Villa Arvedi (near Verona), to continue the presentation.
From Lombardy to Tuscany, to discover Frescobaldi‘s 7th estate, Tenuta Perano, the latest purchase. I had the opportunity to taste both Chianti Classico 2015 and Chianti Classico Riserva 2015. Their tastes are very different from each other.
At the end of Saturday, I went to a big conference with Bisol. The Lunelli Group had invested in Bisol in 2014. Gianluca Bisol, president of the Bisol Desiderio & Figli, and Matteo Lunelli, CEO of the Lunelli Group and vice president of Bisol, introduced the rebranding of Bisol. A new image that revolves around basic values: uniqueness, authenticity, and tradition. In addition to the Bisol line, the Jeio collection was revamped. What better way to end the conference than with some bubbles?
Among the three described events, I had the pleasure to meet some wineries at their stands.
Ca’ du Sindic from Piedmont. Another small reality known mainly for Muscat. There are three versions of it: Moscato d’Asti, Moscato d’Asti Riserva and Moscato Passito. You should know that I’m a big fan of Muscat!
The first one is a small winery, a member of FIVI (Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti), that produces some interesting sparkling wines on the Berici Hills, Veneto. The blend is Garganega and Chardonnay. Every year it improves the quality of its wines.
The other is located in Franciacorta and during Vinitaly 2018 it introduced the new vintage for its main wine Millè 2010. The grapes are only Chardonnay. The ageing is over 30 months in steel tanks and 30 months on the lees for the second fermentation in the bottle. Its color is pale yellow with golden highlights and the perlage is quite fine. The nose can detect some aromas of crusty bread, apple, peach, and chamomile flowers. Tasting it, there is a good correspondence with the nose, well balanced and soft.
There was also a new entry for me, Col di Lamo. A small winery guided by a mother and her daughter (Giovanna Neri and Diletta Pieraccini), located in Montalcino. They produce Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino and the IGT Lamo (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese). All the wines reflect the personalities of the two women, then elegance, great body, and complexity. I also had the pleasure to visit their cellar some days after Vinitaly 2018. I can say only one thing – it’s a lovely place!
To start the long day at Vinitaly 2018, my first stop was at Socci. A small family winery located in the Marche region. Do you know what’s the main grape of that area? Verdicchio! Socci grows only the Verdicchio grape. But its collection is very interesting because it expresses the grape in some different versions: traditionally, by cold maceration, sparkling and by contact skins.
After this meeting, I had an important debate about “Millennials Effect” on the wine trade, organized by Cantina Tollo. I was accompanied by Andrea Di Fabio, the commercial and marketing director of Cantina Tollo, Riccardo Brighigna, the winemaker at Cantina Tollo, and Stefania Annese, a journalist at Gambero Rosso. The topics discussed during the debate were very important, so I decided to dedicate an article to them. I invite you to subscribe to the newsletter if you don’t want to miss any important news!
But it was already afternoon, so I started with Falesco, founded by Renzo and Riccardo Cotarella. Now it’s guided by the three cousins Dominga, Enrica and Marta Cotarella. In addition to their complete wine collection, they started the “Intrecci” project to educate new professionals able to revolutionize the world of food and wine service.
Vinitaly is a run from stand to stand. The next was Le Guaite di Noemi. It had launched its new wine: Tisbe. Noemi Pizzighella, the young owner, is very well known for her Valpolicella wines. With Tisbe, she introduced Cabernet Sauvignon. In this case a 2013 vintage with 3 years of ageing in barrique. The color is ruby red with some garnet highlights. The wine has a reach bouquet (wilting flowers, spices, alcohol-steeped fruit), full body, and good tannins.
And if I tell you that at Vinitaly 2018 there was a place where you could “escape” from the fair, will you believe me?
That place was the Tannico Double Decker. Tannico, the biggest e-commerce for Italian wines, had adapted an old English bus to host the events. Consorzio Valpolicella organized “L’Ostaria de la Valpolicella” here, an event where Roberto Puliero, an actor and theatrical director, told some stories and anecdotes about the wine. It was a relaxing moment!
The day was almost over, but I had two more appointments at two top Italian wine regions. The first was in Piedmont with Consorzio Brachetto d’Acqui. During 2018, it has introduced the rosé version of the well-known sweet wine. A nice interpretation, but I continue to prefer the classic version. The last appointment was in Tuscany to discover Tenuta Moriniello. The cellar is located in Montaione. Two siblings who head the operation enhance the tradition of Chianti wine and grow many international grapes.
We have reached the first half of Vinitaly 2018. I invite you to click on +1! It costs you nothing, but it’s very important for me!
The big day has finally arrived. A step back in time is needed.
After Anteprima Amarone 2014 in February, Stevie Kim, managing director of Vinitaly International, called me and other Italian wine influencers for a meetup at wine2digital (Verona). That meeting inspired the book: “#nofilter, 12 Q&A with 9 Italian Wine Influencers“. We wrote our stories as wine influencers, some tips for social media and our points of view of the future of the wine trade. And that Tuesday morning, I presented the book to the public with Patrick Schmitt MW, editor and chief of The Drinks Business, and the other wine influencers. The meeting was a bubbly breakfast with La Marca prosecco. This book has been a great opportunity. Thank you Stevie!
And what’s the best way to celebrate the launch of the book? Trentodoc bubbles.
I went to Ferrari Trento where I had the honor and the pleasure to taste the second release of Ferrari Perlé Zero with Camilla Lunelli, the communication director of Ferrari Trento. It’s Cuvée Zero11, a blend of Chardonnay grapes from 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010 vintages. The ageing was always in steel, wood, and glass. Zero dosage and 7 years on the lees. The perlage is fine and persistent. Some aromas of crusty bread, apple and honey can be detected. Compared to Cuvée Zero10, this edition was more rounded and softer than the previous one (more vertical). In short, more complete.
I had just enough time to see the famous American entrepreneur Joe Bastianich for his speech about “Millennials and Wine” and I had to reach the Marche region. I had received an invitation from my friend Laura Donadoni, a wine journalist and blogger, to discover the wines of Velenosi with Angela Velenosi, the owner of the winery. There was an interesting pairing with a pizza gourmet by Mirko Petracci, an emerging restaurateur from Ascoli Piceno.
The afternoon was strictly linked to the title of this article and now I’ll explain you the reason.
It’s time to talk about another project signed by Stevie Kim – the takeover on @vinitalyinternational Instagram account. Every wine influencer who has contributed to the #nofilter book has used the account of Vinitaly International to show what Vinitaly is like for a wine influencer. And on Tuesday afternoon it was my turn!
I firstly took part in the event by Pambianco News on the Tannico Double Decker. It has launched its paper magazine. Then followed Cantine Dei (Tuscany) and Cascina Chicco (Piedmont) to discover their respective wines.
The last event of Tuesday was again at the Tannico Double Decker with Gianluca Bisol. A special event to discover the world of prosecco. It started with the story of his family and prosecco and went all the way to the awaited wine tasting (one of the bottles was a limited edition, only 2,640 bottles).
The last day of Vinitaly 2018.
I started this day with Tinazzi. It has more estates in Italy (Valpolicella, Lake Garda, and Puglia), but I only tasted some wines of North Italy.
From Veneto, I moved to Umbria to discover the Sagrantino wines of Bocale. This grape is one of those with the highest level of tannins. Do you know what the others are? Let me know by leaving a comment.
After the Sagrantino tasting, my mouth was not ready to taste better other wine because of the high level of tannins. During my wine tours, I found a trick! Some Muscat will restore the mouth to a perfect condition. Then I went to Elisa Dilavanzo, the owner of Maeli. She produces an excellent Moscato Giallo on Colli Euganei. The soil of that area is volcanic and you can find a lot of saltiness in the wines.
It was already midday and I had to come back to Tuscany. This time was to discover Montecucco. I tasted the wines of Tenuta L’Impostino with Patrizia Chiari, the owner of the winery. They were very interesting from a little-known area of Italy. But it’s normal to have some regions to be less known in a country like Italy. The Italian ampelographic patrimony is awesome!
We’ve come to the last appointment of my Vinitaly 2018. It was not a winery, but an exporter: Patrizia Leonardi Wine Selection. A company guided by Patrizia Leonardi, the first woman to receive the Oscar from AIS as the Best Italian Sommelier in 2003, with her daughter Micol Minnetti. They promote the Italian image in the world with an accurate selection of small wineries from all over Italy. Every time that I meet them, I discover some little wine gems.
Here is the list of new interesting wines that I’ve discovered during my Vinitaly 2018. Some of them I’ve described in the previous lines.
Brunello di Montalcino 2013 – Col di Lamo
Realized with the Sangiovese grape, it has a ruby red color. On the nose can be detected some aromas of berry fruit and spices such as blackberry, pepper, and plum, with a balsamic note. It’s well balanced, with good acidity and saltiness. The tannins are lightly unrefined. It needs more ageing to express itself better, the potentialities are higher.
Ousia Sparkling Wine 2012 – Socci
Verdicchio grape by the traditional method. 50 months on lees. The color is pale yellow with greenish highlights that reflect themselves on the quite fine and persistent perlage. The bouquet expresses crusty bread, cotton candy, peach, and apple. It’s quite fresh, sapid and persistent with a pleasant note of almond. However, there is a black point – only 50 bottles have been produced.
Il Gobbo Nero 2013 – Tenuta Moriniello
Produced from the best grapes of Syrah. 12 months in French oak barriques. Its color looks ruby. On the nose, you can recognize some aromas of pepper (typical of this grape) and wild berries (currant and blueberry). Fine tannins, well-balanced, full-bodied.
Impostino 2012 – Tenuta L’Impostino
A blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. 12 months in large oak barrels. Ruby red. You’ll smell some cherry, rose, blackberry, and coffee. The wine is soft, persistent and well balanced. Greater price performance.
Contesse Muschietti Passito 2000 – San Valentino
Do you remember when I talked about wine gems from Patrizia Leonardi Wine Selection? This wine is one of them. It’s produced from the Trebbiano grape. 1 month of drying after the harvest, then 10 years of barrique. The color is bright brown. The bouquet is very complex, from chestnut to cotton candy and licorice. Believe me, words can’t describe this wine, you should definitely try it!
Take note: 7-10 April 2019
These are the dates for the next Vinitaly.
The 52nd edition closed with 128,000 visitors from 143 countries. Very impressive!
I believe that you now understand that a wine influencer is not an alien but a wine(ry) lover like you. It’s not only a question of taking and posting some pictures. It’s very important that a wine influencer be an expert. S/he can reach a lot of people on social media through his/her wine experiences. When someone writes to a wine influencer, s/he should know how and what to answer, thus the wine influencer has some responsibilities. For this reason, I travel a lot between wineries and events. The next thing on my to-do list is to obtain the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) diploma. I’m waiting to take part in the 3rd level in July.
Just one more thing. I send big thanks to all the people whom I met at this Vinitaly 2018 and all those who follow me every day on the web.
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