Vinitaly 2016

We were lucky enough to be invited to the biggest Italian Wine trade show- Vinitaly.  Celebrating 50 years of wine stewardship and innovation.  This year the focus was on Biodiversity and Sustainability.  There were also a lot of presentations on women in the wine industry.  The best tastings are by invitation only so you can actually spend time with the wine makers.  We attended 3 of these tastings and ended the day with a Grappa tasting and and Olive Oil tasting to round things out.  It was great to taste wines from regions I have not previously tried like Puglia.  We tasted everything from sparkling to desert wines.  We also had the privilege of watching a tasting using a new decanter from Murano.  Thousands of tiny glass beads aerate the wine in seconds.  Innovation is fascinating!

The wineries we tasted from were Amansuola from Puglia, Villa Rinaldi from Alto Adige, Speri from Valpolicella, Bertagnolli provided the Grappa and Redoro provided the Olive Oil.

We walked about 4 miles all over the fairgrounds in Verona.  Mostly crossing back and forth from Veneto to Alto Adige and Trentino with a side visit to the Agribusiness arena for the Olive Oil tasting.

 

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Modena

. Once you taste the DOP (or Protected Designation of Origin) you will understand why the process and name are protected. 16 years to make 12 year old Balsamico, 30 years to make 25 year old.  All ingredients including the barrels must be from Modena. There is a consortium that supervises the process and visits the houses.  They can only bottle 3% of their total inventory in any given year. The flavor of the vinegar is not “infused” or added after the fact, it comes from the wood the vinegar is aged in.  Chestnut, Cherry, Oak, Juniper.  Each barrel is of one kind of wood only.  To get a mixed wood flavor the vinegar moves from one type of barrel to another as the aging takes place.  Each time it moves, it picks up character and flavor from the barrel it is placed in.  Our favorite was the Juniper with the mixed wood coming in second.

We visited the beautiful city of Modena. Home of the Aceto Balsamico. Balsamic vinegar.

We had a tasting at the home of Acetaia di Giorgio

The house we visited has been making Balsamico for 120 years.