As any connoisseur will be able to tell you, much of the joy of enjoying a great Italian wine comes from knowing about the history and traditions behind the wine as much as drinking the wine itself.
Because of this, a number of exhibitions and shows dedicated to the work and processes of the great winemakers have appeared. This is especially the case in recent years, as the birth of the internet has allowed for the Italian wine industry to reach levels of popularity that had previously been unobtainable.
As such, there is now an enormous audience of people who want to know more about the wines that the drink and indulge in the culture behind them. From the experienced wine lover who simply wants to soak in the atmosphere and be amongst other people who demonstrate appreciation for the craft, right through to the novice who wants to learn more about their new favourite hobby, such shows offer a little bit of something for everybody.
That’s where Vinitaly comes into play. The show has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the finest for helping people learn more about the best Italian wines and has been increasing in popularity year on year since its inception. Unlike many others it is centred around tradespeople only, so it is not the event for novices. However, its reputation as one of the premier events on the wine lovers calendar is indisputable.
So what is Vinitaly? Here we take a look at one of the premier wine shows around.
As mentioned, Vinitaly is a show about wine for those whose business revolves around the Italian wine industry. As such only professionals, such as sommeliers, restaurant owners and the press are allowed entry.
While this may make the event seem somewhat restrictive, bear in mind that the people who attend the event will take the education and information they receive and use it to improve their own businesses, thus opening up the industry to others who are unable to obtain entry.
That education is extremely thorough as well. The event plays host to more than four thousand exhibitors every single year, meaning that everybody from the largest winemakers through to smaller producers have the opportunity to shine.
This depth of exhibitors ensures that Vinitaly also attracts a huge turnout, with more than 150,000 people attending the show every year. To further demonstrate how Italian wine has become an important industry on an international scale, more than a third of those visitors are from international territories.
The event itself runs for four days and consists of everything from exhibitions through to meetings, workshops and special tasting sessions that allow the professionals to really get a true feel for the wine that they will likely be purchasing.
The aim is to build and encourage an increasing dialogue between the people who make great Italian wines and those who will distribute or otherwise promote them. It is very much an event for the professionals, and aspects of the business that would usually not be of concern to those who enjoy the odd bottle, such as the state of the industry and how supply and demand has an effect, are discussed.
During the course of the exhibition a number of special events are held to promote various sectors of the wine industry and to ensure that visitors have all of the information they need to make their choices.
While some of these events will, naturally, promote well-known wines, many also place the focus on areas of the industry that people may perhaps require a little bit more information.
Events included during the course of the exhibitions run time include:
Organic and biodynamic wines have been growing in popularity in recent years, especially as consumers become more concerned about what is going into their food and the effects that man-made chemicals and additives can have in the long run.
As such, there is a lot of demand from industry professionals for more information about the benefits of this particular sector and what wines are available.
Vinitalybio aims to promote some of the best Italian wines in this area of the market, offering shows that run throughout the day for a huge range of different producers. Here they get to showcase their products and sell potential buyers on the benefits of the wines that they produce. Better yet, this is one of the areas of the show that also shines a spotlight on international products, so everybody can get involved.
The International Buyer’s Lounge
As was previously mentioned, international visitors make up more than a third of the overall volume of people who take part in the event, so Vinitaly makes sure to provide areas of the show that are of special interest to them.
One of the most popular is the International Buyer’s Lounge, which is essentially a special tasting area where international visitors can examine different wines, many of which they may not have considered stocking before the event.
Here the visitors will be able to meet many of the minds behind the excellent wines that they will be tasting, allowing them to find out a little bit more about the work that goes into the drink and the history of the company who make it.
Furthermore, the area also plays host to a specialised wine bar where visitors will be served drinks from a group of sommeliers, who will provide further education on the quality of the wine and why the various characteristics exhibited combine so well together.
Simply put, it is the perfect place for those who want to learn a little bit more but don’t have the opportunity to do so due to the fact that they are not native to Italy.
So what if you are interested in visiting the event for yourself? The exhibition is already taking ticket orders for the 2016 edition of the event, which will be held between the 10th and 13th of April. Simply head to the Vinitaly website to find out more.