On Wednesday, THE wine exhibition of Italy – Vinitaly – with 4,000 exhibitors commences.

Located in Verona in northern Italy and sporting the finest producers in the country, this is certainly the place to be this week. Further, Stockholm offers 5 C and rain while Verona is a different animal with 23 C and sunshine. And I’m not even going to mention the local produce.

At Vinitaly, both small artisanal producers and big-time enterprises are represented. Most of the producers are there, even those producing a mere 10,000 bottles each year, or those flogging their bottellas for €100 or more. One would expect that the top-notch producers would be reluctant to serve their high-end wines, but that is not the case. In fact, most of them want you to try out their whole range. If you don’t spit, you’ll be drunk by lunchtime.

I have done some extensive pre-studies, and these are some of the producers I intend to visit at the exhibition; from Piemonte: Elio Altare, Domenico Clerico and Aldo Conterno; from Tuscany: Le Macchiole, Casanova di Neri and Querciabella; from Valle d’Aosta: Les Cretes; from Umbria: Milziade Antano, and the list goes on. My biggest problem is really how to fit all high-end producers into my scheme.

Moreover, my good friends at Club Amarone has booked tastings in the Verona area at Nicolis who makes a great “standard” Amarone and an allegedly fabulous vineyard-designated Amarone: the Ambrosan. They have also arranged a tasting at Fattoria Garbole who only produces about 15,000 bottles and received Three Glasses for their 2006 Amarone in this year’s edition of Vini d’Italia. Finally, we will meet with their longtime collaborator Roccolo Grassi who really doesn’t need any further presentation in this context but whom, for the record, received Three Glasses this year for their 2007 Valpolicella Superiore.

It is not likely that I will have the time to blog from the exhibition, but on the right-hand column of the blog, I have included Twitter. I will keep you posted!

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