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Vinitaly Day One








(the two Dominics... and me + my Dad.)

Fresh-faced, like on the first day of school, we made our way past the acres of parked cars, down a food and junk truck-lined Verona city street, to join the teeming crowd at Vinitaly’s main entrance. We had a good few minutes to wait, and as the minutes ticked off, the Italian visitor-heavy crowd grew more ticked off. Pressing their bodies forward with anticipation, all were squished in together like extra-virgin olive-oil packed sardines.

Past the entrance we were met with a series of low-slung buildings, organized by region/production zone: a Tuscany building, a Piedmont bldg, and to travel among them for the most part you have to go outside. The feel is Soho meets Chelsea Piers, an upscale warehouse district. Inside, the feel is mini-mall meets a smaller-scaled Vegas, at grids of countless kiosks, far more upscale than I’d imagined.




As we moved from one building to the next, I found the mood of each region to be somehow be captured by choices made of color and surface, and the dance between attendants and vendors: the modern ‘flash’ of Sicily, Tuscany’s ‘fanciness,’ the industrial piety of Friuli.








(Dominic Nocerino with Enrico Berta at Distelleria Berta's booth, where they take meetings + offer tastings.)


Getting our bearings, it was hard not to feel like there was too much to see and do, as the task hand seemed daunting. At the same time, in one day my Dad + I managed to shake hands with Carlo Ferrini, Angelo Gaya & his family, and Tonino Verra of La Contea – so somehow, if we weren’t getting it all done at once, we were taking part in an overall meet-and-greet of vast acreage.



(Dominic Nocerino with Giovanni Manetti, and below with Enrico Faccenda of Cascina Chicco.)

Our tasting highlights included the wines of Cascina Chicco, namely their Roero Arneis Anterisio ’09 and Granera Alta ’08; a new white from Castello di Romitorio named "Constanza," described by Filippo Chia as a ‘bomba,’ and of 80% Chardonnay, 20% Vermentino; and the new releases of Mormoraia’s Vernaccia and Chianti.





Back in our car, as we made our way out of the maze of parked cars that now teemed with life, my Dad cracked wise with the parking attendant: rather than brushing past him with the twenty-four Euros that’s due upon exit, he looked him in the eyes with the question,  “How much do you owe me?” The attendant laughed, and brushed us past, so that our parking was free. My brother and I were surprised, but our Dad was shocked. Seasoned veteran that he is, his respose was, “I’ve never seen anything like that.”



Reader Comments (1)

Hi Christina,

Debbie from your Phoenix Office writing to let you know that it is nice to hear about your experiences at VinItaly. Enjoyed seeing the pictures of your family and some of the producers. It sounds like it was an incredible experience!

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie J. Elder

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