An Italian Resurgence: OperaWine Unites Top Winemakers for a Gala Tasting in Verona

While Italy's biggest wine trade fair has been delayed to October, the organizers partnered with Wine Spectator to host their annual gala showcase of top wineries

An Italian Resurgence: OperaWine Unites Top Winemakers for a Gala Tasting in Verona
Guests had the chance to sample wines from more than 180 of Italy's best wineries, from Friuli to Sicily. (Courtesy Justdothework)
Jun 22, 2021

On Saturday, June 19, OperaWine gathered 186 top Italian wine producers for a gala tasting in Verona. It was the 10th edition of the event, created by Wine Spectator in partnership with Vinitaly, the national trade fair.

Normally, OperaWine kicks off Vinitaly, the nation's most important wine trade fair. But for two years, nothing has been normal; the 2020 event was canceled, and Vinitaly will return in 2021 but not until fall—organizers have currently scheduled "VinItaly Special Edition" for Oct. 17-19. So the OperaWine tasting served as an important marker that life, and business, will move forward with enthusiasm and hope.

"We needed this event," said Lamberto Frescobaldi, president of Marchesi Frescobaldi, one of Italy's most important family wine companies. "We producers haven't been able to see each other for more than a year. It's great to be back together."

Wine Spectator selects the wineries that participate in the event, billed as "Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers." For the 10th edition, however, the event was expanded to include wineries that had participated in past events, for a grand total of 186 wineries representing all 20 regions of the country. Highlights included producers large and small, from Tuscany's Antinori, to Lombardy's ArPePe, Campania's Quintodecimo and Veneto's Masi winery.

The event was held in the Gallerie Mercatali, an old warehouse beautifully refurbished for the tasting, and large enough to allow for all necessary safety precautions. About 1,500 invited guests attended, representing multiple countries.

"Opera Wine was very positive, beyond expectation!" said Marilisa Allegrini, CEO of Allegrini, the Veneto-based wine powerhouse. "Very well-organized and in a beautiful location with great attendees."


Stay on top of important wine stories with Wine Spectator's free Breaking News Alerts.

News WS Events Italy

You Might Also Like

Cheval-Blanc and Ausone Say Adieu to St.-Emilion Classification. Does It Matter?

Cheval-Blanc and Ausone Say Adieu to St.-Emilion Classification. Does It Matter?

Owners of two storied Bordeaux estates say that the rankings should focus more on wine …

Jul 23, 2021
New York City’s Restaurant Week Returns as Dining Rooms Reopen

New York City’s Restaurant Week Returns as Dining Rooms Reopen

Summer event features new menu options, award-winning wine lists and more

Jul 21, 2021
Exclusive: Randall Grahm Joins Forces with Gallo for a New Wine Project

Exclusive: Randall Grahm Joins Forces with Gallo for a New Wine Project

The new brand—The Language of Yes—combines Grahm’s penchant for Rhône grape varieties with …

Jul 21, 2021
Is Wine Empty Calories? A Spanish Researcher Argues It May Help Stave Off Extra Pounds

Is Wine Empty Calories? A Spanish Researcher Argues It May Help Stave Off Extra Pounds

Nutrition expert presents evidence that shows polyphenols found in red wine might burn …

Jul 21, 2021
Jeff Bezos Returns from Space and Donates $100 Million to José Andrés Charity

Jeff Bezos Returns from Space and Donates $100 Million to José Andrés Charity

The Spanish chef and humanitarian says he will use the money to expand World Central …

Jul 20, 2021
Diners Loved Wine to Go During the Pandemic; Some States Will Keep It While Others Pull the Plug

Diners Loved Wine to Go During the Pandemic; Some States Will Keep It While Others Pull the Plug

35 states allowed restaurants to sell wine for off-premise consumption, boosting revenue …

Jul 20, 2021