Gint, David (sommelier from Los Angeles), Anna, and Stefano Bensa (La Castellada) at the Viniveri wine festival (all natural wine event)
Every Spring our wine team from Cavinona and Terroni head to Vinitaly for a wine hunt extravaganza. We get a chance to meet with our current producers while chasing leads for new additions to our portfolio. The fair itself is a chaotic 4 day trade show of the largest representation of Italian wine makers in the world.
It’s lawless, electrifying, daunting, and additive and if you make it through alive the Vinitaly gods smile down at you maniacally, begging you to do it all again next year. Our anchoring back to sanity comes in the form of a tour of a few of our wineries right after the show. This year we hit up Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Abruzzo with a last stop in Rome. Looking forward to Vinitaly 2017!
David & Gianna on Day 1 of Vinitaly 2016. This year was special since it marked the 50th anniversary of the wine fair.
When in Verona! Our days may be busy with wine, but you must make time for gelato.
Day 2 at Vinitaly included a visit with natural wine producer Stefano Bariani from Fondo San
Giuseppe. We currently buy his Fiorile (100% Albana), but we also tasted a fantastic Riesling
from him as well as an Aleatico.
We had an especially fun visit with our producer Marco Donati and their infamous interactive
sign. Michela, Anna’s daughter, was our model for this photo shoot.
Day 3 of Vinitaly! The trip would not be complete without a visit to our longtime producer
Filippo Antonelli of Antonelli San Marco. He makes amazing wines from the Umbria area and
recently started raising his own heritage pigs as well. Let’s just say we ‘sampled’ a lot of his new
salumi products. (One of my favourite producers! – JD)
By far our favourite restaurant in Verona is Al Pompiere. They are known for their amazing
selection of cured meats and homemade pastas. We had 3 of these platters and they left the tables
clean as a whistle.
Over 50 appointments and 4 days later, we ended Vinitaly in the best possible way: the 2002 Albareda Sforzato from Mamete Prevostini. It’s what dreams are made of and certainly make this
chaotic show worth it!
Next stop Naples! Our home base for two nights as we explore Ischia and the Avellino areas.
Dora, another Cavinona staff member, has joined our trip!
Ischia was an absolute paradise. Here you can see the vineyards of Casa d’Ambra set against the
ocean at what seems to be the end of the world.
On to Avellino to visit our producer Ciro Picariello. We had a lovely lunch prepared by Ciro’s wife set up right next to their vineyard of Fiano.
Here Ciro explains the old training system used for these 60 year old Fiano vines. This was the
typical training system for the whole area back when these were first planted.
No rest for the wicked. After visiting Ciro Picariello, we headed straight to Basilicata to see our
producer Grifalco. Pictured here is their Damaschito vineyard, which is their single vineyard
Next stop: Puglia. Well Foggia to be exact. We caught up with Giusy Albano of Tenuta Fujanera. She and
her family hosted us for a traditional Pugliese lunch that I’m still dreaming about.
Off to Abruzzo to see our longtime producer Fausto Albanesi from Torre dei Beati. We’ve been wanting
to make it to Abruzzo for years and I’m so glad we finally went. It was insanely beautiful and far
surpassed my expectations. Pictured here is the town of Loreto Aprutino.
Our last winery tour was with Cataldi Madonna from Abruzzo. Their export manager, Maria Giovanna, showed us around the vineyards. Their area is called the ‘forno’ or oven since it is a flat basic surrounded by mountains. Maria Giovanna compared it to an amphitheatre. This heats up the mountainous area in the summer, but also keeps it insulated in the winters.
Last stop! After all that travel, it was nice to end the trip in Rome with a bit of free time. Glass of wine
mandatory of course.