Wine News - November 02, 2007


Welcome to VOLUME V, NUMBER 10 of Wine News, the e-Letter from the WineCountry.IT network. (Would you rather see the e-Letter on your favorite browser? Use this link. Usa il link seguente se vuoi leggere le News in italiano).

Italian Flavor Consortium: Italian Boutique Wines

Italian Flavor Forum VIII
Fall 2007

November 14, 2007
Museo ItaloAmericano
at San Francisco, California

Invitation-only Italian wine and food tasting dedicated to professional wine and food buyers and the press.


"Another month is gone, its music is over ..." goes an old song by Bolognese singer/songwriter Francesco Guccini.

My favorite part of the past month of October are the exciting 10 days of our 'Southwestern Sideways', spent playing tourists in the Southwest of the US scouting for local wines to present at the upcoming Italian Flavor Forum VIII, which will take place on November 14, 2007 at the Museo ItaloAmericano of San Francisco, California.

Another exciting October event was the coming to town the 24th of the Vinitaly US Tour 2007, where I had the pleasure of assisting Roberto Crea, owner of the Azienda Vitivinicola Caliscana producer of the excellent Caliscana wines, and Jeanneth Angel, of Tenuta La Carlina, producer of the superlative Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG La Togata, to which Wine Spectator magazine recently awarded 96 points.

Before closing this brief introduction and letting you enjoy the wealth of articles presented in this issue, I would like to remind all the wine professionals and wine buffs who read our newsletter of the upcoming first Monte-Carlo Wine Festival. The event promises to be amazing, thus I invite our readers to participate because, as the saying goes, "the more the merrier."

Loris Scagliarini, WineCountry.IT President

Quality Italian Wines

Quality Italian wines from small and boutique producers
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Truffle Prices Rise Because of Hot Italian Summer and Low Production

Whit TrufflesSummer temperatures of up to 30°C (86°F) lingered into September and dried up the Piedmont fields where traditionally the white truffles are found, with the results of crippling the output and shooting up prices. which reached over 700 per 100 grams in Alba, the Piedmont town considered the world's white truffle capital. This translates into over 50 plates of pasta al tartufo bianco (pasta with white truffle sauce) in Milan's restaurants.

Wines from truffle lands:
San Miniato meets La Morra and Val d'Orcia

mostra mercato del tartufo di San MiniatoThe mission of the recently established Associazione Produttori San Miniato (San Miniato Producers Association), is promoting the local wines. The founders believe that the zones where truffles grow are always excellent wine zones, producing especially quality red wines.

To prove this, the association plans to reach out to other truffle zones, starting with the next 27th annual San Miniato truffle trade show, held from the 10th to the 25th of November 2007.

Vinitaly US Tour 2007: San Francisco

Vinitaly USA 2007On October 24, 2007, Vinitaly US Tour 2007 brought 50 exhibitors who poured Italian wines from Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Sicily and Sardinia to San Francisco's Old Federal Building, at 400 Samsome Street.

Two producers associated with Italian Flavor Consortium, Roberto Crea's Azienda Vitivinicola Caliscana, and Danilo Tonon's Tenuta La Carlina, both from Tuscany, participated.

Helicopters Used to Try to Save New Zealand Vines

New Zealand Wine ZonesThe night of October 18, 2007, some 100 helicopters were called in by the Marlborough region winegrowers as an anti-frost measure.

The choppers hovered over vineyards throughout the night in the hope of saving the budding plants from freezing.

Southwestern Sideways: A Quest for Western US Wine Not From California
Day One

Highway 5Knowing the reality of local traffic, we outsmart the GPS. Instead of driving across the Richmond - San Rafael Bridge, which would have taken us to Hwy. 580 south through the bumper-to-bumper traffic of Oakland, we headed south on such back roads as Shady Lane, Woodland Road and Magnolia Boulevard to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, then followed 19th Avenue back to 101 and eventually, to Hwy. 92 and the San Mateo Bridge to Hwy. 5 southbound.

Day Two

Bellagio HotelThat's why, after listening to Pavarotti's voice as soundtrack to the breathtaking water extravaganza that goes on every hour at the Bellagio, we return to the Monte Carlo for dinner at one of the restaurants within the hotel.

Day Three

Hoover DamWe head out of town to visit Lake Mead, the largest manmade lake in the US, and Hoover Dam, the amazing engineering feat which, in the 1930s, turned the massive, and at times destructive, power of the great Colorado River into a great opportunity, bringing drinking and irrigation water to four states, Nevada, Arizona, California and New Mexico, and producing in the process electricity bought and sold by contract by California since the Dam was completed. Lake Mead and Hoover Dam are part of the amazing industrial infrastructures that characterized the US in the 20th century.

Day Four

At the Grand CanyonI'm seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time and it's truly amazing: a work of art which nature has worked at for centuries and is still modifying. A group of Spanish tourists is noisily taking up one of the overlooking terraces, calling out loudly to each other as southern European sometimes do.

Day Five

Gan CanyonWe celebrate by taking a hike down the Grand Canyon down Bright Angel Trail. We hike down for about one mile, then stop for a light picnic facing the amazing beauty of this geological mystery and observing chipmunks and squirrels dart nervously, but not too much so, in and out f the rocks hoping for some scraps of food.

Day Six

Maya and Brigit at the Grand CanyonWe take the Desert Point Road from the South Rim entrance of the Grand Canyon to Cameron, then head to Flagstaff and Sedona, taking a detour along the way to stop at an ancient native Wupatki Pueblo site dating back to the 12th century. The Wupatki are the ancestors of today's Hopi, who still live nearby.

Day Seven

Barkming Frog GrilleFor wine we select an Adelsheim Pinot Gris 2006 from Oregon's Willamette Valley. Though the wine list is better than any other we had found so far, here as well the Arizona wines are totally absent. Talking to restaurant sommeliers and wine buyers for various stores, we reach the conclusion that most of the Arizona wine production is sold directly at the winery tasting rooms or online.

Day Eight

Route 66, Siegelman, ArizonaWe hit the road after breakfast and head back home driving back to Flagstaff, where we take westbound Hwy. 40 toward Los Angeles, which has taken over historic Route 66, except for short stretches that still run through once well known little towns. In fact, we stop for a picnic lunch at Seligman, one of such towns, just before leaving Arizona.

Day Nine

inside Jack Ranch CafeFrom Bakersfield we head toward El Paso de Robles, today better known as Paso Robles, and stop for a quintessential tuna sandwich and homage to James Dean at Jack Ranch Cafe in Cholame, where there is the James Dean Memorial by Seita Onishi, a Japanese businessman and fan, made of stainless steel and aluminum alloy, wrapped around an oleantheum tree. Jack Ranch Cafe was Dean's last stop before he died in an accident about a mile away, at the crossroads of highways 41 and 46.

Day Ten

Martin & Weyrich WineryAfter breakfast we visit the Martin & Weyrich Winery where we select a Sangiovese for the upcoming blind tasting to be held at the next Italian Flavor Forum, where three US wines will face off against three Italian wines of the same type and price range.

Assovini Sicilia Brings the Associates' Wines to the Russia

Assovini SiciliaFrom October 9, to 11, 2007, the Sicilian wine sector will be the protagonist of the event "Sicily, The Wine Island", held in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The event is organized by the Regional Council for Agriculture and Forestry, in collaboration with the Palermo, Moscow and St. Petersburg chapters of the Istituto per il Commercio Estero (ICE, or Foreign Trade Institute).

ADL Applauds Italian Seizure of Wine Bottles Depicting Nazis

Anti-Defamation LeagueThe Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applauded Italian officials for the seizure of wine bottles in northern Italy whose labels depict Adolf Hitler and other Nazis. ADL has raised this issue with Italian authorities on several occasions, urging them to investigate and take action as necessary.

2007 Italian Wine Exports Aims to Break the Record Set in 2006

Italian Flavor ForumItalian wine exports have grown throughout the first half of the current year and, according to recent figures, the sector is set to break the record set the previius year.

Vigne nel Tempo: Medieval Harvest Reenactment at the Azienda Agricola Conte Collalto

Vigne nel TempoRewind 600 years, to 1345 to be exact, at the San Salvatore (Saint Savior) Castle of Collalto, in the province of Treviso.

In fact, recently in the vineyards at the foot of the castle and in the courtyard of the castle itself, visitors found themselves immersed in evocative medieval scenes: harvesting, peasants stomping the grapes with their bare feet, knights hunting with the help of a falcon, busy artisans minding their storefronts, clowns, musicians, and parades of iron clad foot soldiers.

Chinese Wine Marketing Conference Highlights Advantages & Issues in China's Wine Industry – Part One

ChinaAt the recent International Conference on the Wine Market in China, held August 8-11, 2007 in Beijing, participants were impressed at how much progress has been made in the Chinese wine industry in the past two years. At the same time, there are still some issues that China needs to tackle in order for its wine to continue to gain acceptance in national and global markets.

Part 2

Chinese Wine DrinkersOn the issue side, one of the most concerning areas is the lack of regulations regarding Chinese wine production. They have not agreed to adopt OIV standards, as many other countries have, and instead have stated that they will begin discussion in 2008 regarding the type of regulations they plan to implement.

Part 3

Chinese WineAs an emerging wine industry, the quality and taste of Chinese wine is not consistent, but of the 30 Chinese wines tasted, the following stood out as offering good quality and/or a unique style.

Wine and Food Tourism: Beginning and Advanced Course

Turismo Enogastronomico: Corso di formazione e perfezionamentoEnrollment for beginning and advanced courses in Wine and Food Tourism is n ow open. The course is organized by the Università degli Studi di Ferrara (Ferrara University) and starts at the beginning of November.

The classes include participation of some important and well known VIP of the Italian wine and food scene, including Chef Igles Corelli.

Wine and Food Tourism: Beginning and Advanced Course

De Yong Museum of Modern ArtSome American wine experts though, say that there's no reason to panic. Still, "It's unfortunate, but in order to cover the latest rate exchange losses and the higher, ever growing, cost of shipping, wholesale prices must be raised," said Loris Scagliarini, president of California-based WineCountry.IT.

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Wine Festival 2008
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WineCountry.IT Producers

The editorial staff of WineCountry.IT asked Mauro Zini, owner of ZiniVini, a Lambrusco wine producing company located in the province of Reggio Emilia, and Enologist Umberto Bertolani, who makes the estate wines a few questions.

Mauro Zini (sinistra), titolare dell'azienda ZiniVini locata in provincia  di Reggio Emilia, con Umberto Bertolani, enologo, in cantina

These are their answers.
 -

Beyond Wine

This month we introduce two excellent Italian cheeses which are very different from each other: the Canestrato Pugliese DOP, a cheese aged in canestri (baskets), from which it takes its name,

Provolone Valpadana DOP: Salame

and the Provolone Valpadanase DOP, a product belonging to the 'stretchy' cheese family, such as mozzarella and provolone, produced in a wide area of northern Italy, from Lodi to the east, to Trento in the northwest.

Provolone Valpadana DOP: Salame

The Third Circle

"Variegated landscapes alternating hills and beaches, in a triumph of colors, scents, and flavor of a time long past": Apulia offer this and much more to the foreign traveler visiting the Italian heel.

Orecchiette ai frutti di mare

The following regional menu is completely seafood-based, with the exception of the dessert.


ZiniVini: Lambrusco dell'Emilia
Azienda Agricola Montalpruno: Tuscan Wines

Italian Flavor Consortium

Italian Flavor Consortium

Italian Flavor Forum VIII – Fall 2007

The Fall edition of
Italian Flavor Forum VIII
will take place on
November 14, 2007

Read the article about the latest 2007 Spring edition of Italian Flavor Forum, the invitation only Italian wine and food tasting dedicated to professional wine buyers and the press.

We are looking for US distributors for our growing portfolio of quality Italian boutique wines, extra virgin olive oil and wine accessories

Terre di Nano
Italian Flavor Consortium:
Associate Producers
  1. Acetaia "La Tradizione"– Produttore: Malagoli DanieleEmilia-Romagna
  2. Azienda Agricola Buccelletti VivaiTuscany
  3. Azienda Agricola DessoleSardinia
  4. Azienda Agricola FrezzaVeneto
  5. Azienda Agricola Gagliardi PieroPiedmont
  6. Azienda Agricola MálibranVeneto
  7. Azienda Agricola MasseriolaApulia
  8. Azienda Agricola MontalprunoTuscany
  9. Azienda Agricola Mosolo GleniFriuli Venezia Giulia
  10. Azienda Agricola T•E•S•S•A•R•IVeneto
  11. Azienda Vitivinicola Colledoro di Clara C. AmbrosioPiedmont
  12. Cantina Vitivinicola RomangiaSardinia
  13. CantOlio Manduria scaApulia
  14. Carlo Massimiliano GrittiUmbria
  15. Casa Vinicole FerraroCampania
  16. Castellari Bergaglio Azienda VitivinicolaPiedmont
  17. Distilleria Galdino Caselli srlEmilia-Romagna
  18. Fattoria ColibertoTuscany
  19. Fattoria La StrisciaTuscany
  20. Industria Alimentare CapobiancoApulia
  21. La Bottega del Fae'Veneto
  22. Terre di NanoTuscany
  23. Poderi Rosso GiovanniPiedmont
  24. Tenimenti Marchisio d'OsascaPiedmont
  25. Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. – La TogataTuscany
  26. Vini Iovine s.n.c. di Aniello IovineCampania
  27. ZiniViniEmilia Romagna
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