A short summary of a few of the highlights from our trip to VinItaly in 2005.
Once again we braved the crowds in search of the hidden gems in Italy's largest wine festival, Vinitaly. For five days in Verona we met producers from all over Italy and tasted the diversity of their wines. We also took an extra day to visit a nearby biodynamic tasting hosted by Nicolas Joly at the Villa Favorita to meet some of our favorite French winemakers.
Above is our tasting of Gabriele Buondonno's elegant, organic Chianti Classico. It was at this tasting that Senore Buondonno introduced us to our Lo Spaventapasseri and their amazing organic preserves and sauces including Mostarda Cugna and Rosina rose hip jam made with ingredients grown on their tiny organic farm in Piemonte. Lest you think this trip was all fun and no work, note the ever present notebook in the background which was never out of our reach.
While at VinItaly we take time to refresh our palate with some other products such as this heavenly olive oil made by our friends at Pacina. This rich oil was served after their intensely structured Chianti, and the Mozarella di Bufala was brought up that morning from Napoli!
Franciose Gourdon of Chateau Tour Grise brought samples of the rocks that make up her vineyard soil. She and her husband Philippe make two different chenin blancs from two very different Saumur vineyards in the Loire Valley. Their wines exemplify the limited manipulation and full expression of terroir that we look for in a producer.
Madame Amoreau of Chateau Le Puy in Bordeaux sampled some of her wines for us out of this beautiful decanter. Their estate has been in the Amoreau family for 500 years! Their biodynamic Bordeaux are incomparably smooth and rich.
Raimond de Villeneuve makes some of our favorite biodynamic wines. His bright Corail Rose is a summertime bestseller, his red 'Le Mures Cotes de Provence is a winter staple, and his dark and mysterious "Rubrum Obscurum" from his oldest vines graces our top shelf whenever we can get our hands on it!
We look forward to 2006 VinItaly to see old friends, find new products and of course to taste some amazing wine.