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Marilena Barbera pouring her Sicilian wines during Merano Wine Festival
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A report from the Merano Wine Festival 2011: what has worked, and what has not

It’s 8 years that I send samples to the Merano Wine Festival, always receiving a diploma reading that our wines are great, but that, due to excessive competition, they are not admitted to the exhibition. And, finally, this year, we have been invited to join the great event.

Merano is considered to be the most exclusive Italia wine show. All comments I’ve heard so far, either from journalists, wine lovers or producers, all of them agree that if you are not admitted to Merano you are nothing. I can’t describe my joy and excitement to be included in the good wine’s Hall of Fame, among the best winemakers that produce the wines you can’t do without.

750 euros I paid for my table, for just one day (Monday): not much, considered that now we are entering the wine élite… I get on the plane with the inner feeling that it will be an unforgettable experience, and that all of them who “make” fortunes and misfortune of the wineries will finally notice us.

My table was located at the Pavillion des Fleures, in the “new entries” section, together with many other wineries that were selected for the first time. I uncorked 3 bottles - one per wine – and they lasted all day.
I received a total of 10 visits between 10 am and 2 pm: 2 journalists that I knew, 2 of my wine reps, 1 client that I already serve, 1 virtual friend that I had only met on Twitter before, 1 winemaker that I didn’t know, 2 people from the event’s organization (no, not the president).

As for the other wineries I shared the room with, they didn’t do any better, as the exhibition was taking place somewhere else. It made no sense for me to stay longer, and decided to have fun: eventually, I could go and taste someone else’s wines… And, infact, it was funny.

The marvellous salon of the Kurhaus was full of people, many of them had spent over 80 euros to taste the best wines in the world: what was the need for them to leave the carnival and have a look at the Nerds Room? No communication, other than the catalogue, reading that we existed: no guided tastings, no promotional activity to support our participation. Considered that we were 37 nerds, the Festival cashed about 30.000 euros from us. Not bad at all...

What have I learnt? That promotional events do very good only to the poople from the organization…

PS: Thank you Massimo Lanza for the pic, and also for bringing me to one of the most beautiful tastings of my life. 

 

Tags: fiere del vino, Merano Wine Festival

THE SHORT STORY

THE SHORT STORY

Grape variety: Inzolia grown in Dietro le Case vineyard
Soil: clay soil with calcareous components, very rich in limestones and sea minerals
Vineyard: planted in 1960s, head-trained bush vines
Winemaking: skin contact for 48 hours in steel tanks
Alcoholic fermentation: spontaneous, with wild yeast
Malolactic fermentation: spontaneous
Refining: 4 months on fine lees, in steel tanks
Aging: one oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment
Average production: a few dozen bottles every some years

Download wine sheet

WINEMAKING

The grapes are handpicked the first half of September, when they are fully ripe. The traditional pruning system - called "a pezzo e spalla" - and the age of the vines, allow slow constant ripening cycles and a great aromatic concentration.

The fermentation is spontaneous, with 2 days skin contact. After soft pressing, the fermentation continues for 8 days in steel tanks. After malolactic is completed, the wine refines on fine lees for about 4 months and is then racked into one single oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment.

The wine is bottled directly from the barrel no more than 2-3 times every decade.

TASTING NOTES

Altrimenti has a bright amber color, enlivened by golden hues. Its nose is predominantly tertiary, where fruity notes of apricot and ripe figs blend onto an intense and aromatic herbal background, enriched by roasted and dried nuts.

It is dry and full bodied to the palate, with a distinct savory personality that harmoniously meets a tannic finish.

SERVING TEMPERATURE: 54 - 58 °F
Pour Altrimenti in wide glasses, at a fresh but not chilled temperature.
Please avoid freezers and blast chillers, as well as a prolonged time in your home refrigerator: this wine is not filtered nor fined, and any temperature below 40 °F will mortify its complex aromas.

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