The critics of the popular American lifestyle magazine Wine Spectator have devoted their attention to Italian wines. Amarone della Valpolicella, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, SuperTuscan are some of the most famous wine families of the Bel Paese and this year - besides the great Italian variety- Vinitaly will present OperaWine. This event focuses on some of the least known areas of wineries.
In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Marvin R. Shanken - director and editor of Wine Spectator - declared "Italy exports more wine to the US than to the rest of the world". Americans seem to be very interested in Italian wine and the common hope is that OperaWine would be a good chance to increase the attention on the best producers selected. The identification of excellences was neither easy nor exhaustive but the criteria used concerned the quality of wine, the historical significance, the leadership and innovation. Among the wineries reviewed, the great majority stood out for their "Reds". Examples are the Barolo with 13 labels and the Brunello with 5. Consideration was also given to the South of Italy, which offered exclusive products like the Etna Nerello Mascalese (Sicily), the Gaglioppo (Calabria) and the Cannonau (Sardinia).
The Wine Spectator staff visits several Italian regions at least twice a year, meeting new wine producers and monitoring the actual panorama. Moreover, Thomas Matthews - one of the experts working for the magazine - declared that every year they notice high-quality newcomers and a continuous evolution. This year we have witnessed 20 new entries and, among them, the Etna area has produced exquisite products under three main labels, i.e. Benanti, Masseria Li Veli and Passopisciaro.
Ultimately, the Wine Spectator's appreciation for the Bel Paese also concern an interest in learning more about the traditional wine producing techniques that have for century defined the art of made-in-Italy wineries. Vinitaly will definitely be the perfect place to go through that.