Italian wine has no rankings, no grands crus, but for one evening in Verona on March 24, aficionados had a chance to taste wines from 100 of the country's top estates. “Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers” was the keynote event of this year's Vinitaly, the Italian wine trade fair held annually in Verona. The tasting was a collaboration between Wine Spectator, which selected the wineries, and Vinitaly, which handled the logistics.
“It’s a great showcase for Italian wines,” said Andrea Felluga of Friuli producer Livio Felluga. As Felluga and other producers poured, 1,000 guests walked through Verona's historic Palazzo della Ragione, the onetime city hall, and tasted, met old friends and discussed the state of the wine business.
“An event like this puts wine in the same sphere of reference as fashion, art and the Italian lifestyle, so important for our international business,” added Jacopo Biondi-Santi, the great Brunello di Montalcino producer.
Over the next four days, Vinitaly and its 4,000 exhibitors welcomed 140,000 visitors from 120 countries throughout the world, according to its press office. Tuscan vintner Piero Antinori summed up the response, saying, “this Vinitaly achieved quantitative and especially qualitative attendance and this is very interesting for us."
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