Preview: The Definitive Italian Wine Tasting

15 June, 2007

This year's event promises to reveal even more of the amazing diversity rooted in the land of the vine.

Fifty-six of the UK's leading Italian specialists will be exhibiting at the Definitive Italian Wine Tasting on June 27. Newcomers include Vigneto Italia, Gabbiano from Foster's EMEA and Guy Anderson Wines, while Lea & Sandeman is returning to the event for the first time since 2002.

A generic tasting table called Italian Journey aims to show off Italy's great variety of indigenous grape varieties, terrains and climates. The 129 wines on show cost between £6.99 and £67 per bottle, and 66 per cent are over £10.

Guy Anderson Wines is making its first appearance, launching a £5.99 Tuscan brand from Chianti producer Rocca Vecchia. Other wineries include Via Collina, with a £6.99 range positioned as an introduction to Italy's regions and indigenous grapes, including Dolcetto and Verdicchio; Sicilian food-matching brand Quattro Stagioni (rrp £4.99); Umbria's Cuore Verde, or Green Heart; and a Pinot Grigio Blush with 8g residual sugar from Rosa Fiore.

Tuscany's Castello Banfi is unveiling new labels for its Toscana IGT "Baby Super Tuscan" range (rrp £5.99). It is also showing its single-vineyard Brunello di Montalcino and Sant'Animo DOC ranges, and wines from sister winery Vigne Regali in Piedmont.

PLB's fine wine arm, Lane & Tatham, is launching a Negroamaro Salento IGT 2005 (rrp £4.99) targeted at the off-trade, from Cantine Due Palme in Puglia. Veneto's family-run Tommasi Viticoltori is showing off a range of Soave, Valpolicella and Amarone wines also aimed at the off-trade. PLB is showing Piccini's new Piccanti 3-litre bag-in-tube and Selezione Oro Chianti Riserva DOCG, targeted at multiples (rrp £7.99). Tosti's new sparkling pink Pinot Grigio, and organic additions to PLB's own-brand Siciliano range, will also be on show.

Enotria will be showing off newly rebranded Inycon, marketed as "the natural expression of Sicily". Stelle d'Italia - the Stars of Italy, designed to help consumers navigate Italian wines, will be on show alongside Lacento, a low-alcohol Pinot Grigio.

Vigneto Italia is launching biodynamic winery Ocone, based north of Naples, which produces an Aglianico del Taburno made from 100 per cent biodynamically grown grapes. It is also showing wines from Tuscan producer Tenuta Farneta.

Firsts from Les Caves de Pyrene include a Freisa Langhe from Giacomo Borgogno, a dry Verduzzo from Bressan in Friuli and a ramato Pinot Grigio from Azienda Agricola Bellanotte. Its portfolio also covers Alpine wines from Valle d'Aosta, Barolo and Barbaresco from Piedmont, mineralic wines from Alto Adige and unusual reds from the border between Friuli and Slovenia.

Great Western Wine is launching a Verdicchio from Zaccagnini, a Valpolicella from Buglioni and a Dolcetto d'Alba and Barolo from Burlotto. Terrabianca is a new vineyard project on the Tuscan coast, which will be adding wines from vineyards in Maremma to its current Super Tuscans, and Loacker in Corte Pavone is showing a new Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. Vigne & Vini in Puglia and Di Giovanna in Sicily joined GWW last year and will also have wines on show.

Thierry's is showing a Prosecco Raboso and a Pinot Grigio Blush, recent additions to its own-brand Ravelli, which covers Italy's main grape varieties and DOCs across various price points. Also at Thierry's table, the Caldora winery will show Dom Camillo Sangiovese and San Marzano will show Lava Falanghina.

Cantine Belisario, new to Liberty Wines, is showing Vigneti del Cerro Verdicchio di Matelica 2006. Two wines from Poggio al Tesoro in Bolgheri, including the 2006 first vintage of Vermentino Solosole, will also be on taste, alongside three wines from Gran Sasso, including a Pecorino IGT 2006, Terre di Chieti. Ca' Morlin's Prosecco dei Colli Trevigiani IGT Frizzante NV has been newly bottled under crown cap, and there will be new vintages from Pieropan and Allegrini in the Veneto, Deltetto in Piedmont, Vesevo in Campania and Fontodi, Isole & Olena, Felsina, Capezzana, Selvapiana and Argiano in Tuscany.

Agricola Querciabella, based in Greve in Chianti, is unveiling the latest releases of its three wines, Toscana IGT (Chardonnay/Pinot Bianco blend) Batàr 2005, Chianti Classico 2005 and Camartina 2004, a 70 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon/30 per cent Sangiovese blend.

Huddersfield-based Continental Wine & Food is introducing wines from Sicily's Casa Vinicola Firriato, including Alcamo Bianco DOC, Chiaramonte Ansonica IGT Sicilia, Chiaramonte Nero d'Avola IGT Sicilia and Altavilla Della Corte Grillo

IGT Sicilia. Wines from Puglia's Cantine Due Palme, which blends centuries-old winemaking traditions with new techniques, and from Cantina di Soave, one of Veneto's biggest co-operatives, will also be on show.

Italian wine broker Vinexus, headed by OLN correspondent Nicolas Belfrage MW, will be showing a cross-section of the 50 producers it represents, including a Brut Prosecco from La Riva dei Frati, two Pinot Biancos from Cantina Nals-Margreid - which Belfrage says "represent the real soul of Alto Adige", four Chiantis from different producers and other wines from Tuscany, Piedmont and Veneto.

Ellis of Richmond is previewing Vinicol Casa Botter's La di Motte Cabernet/Merlot, part of the Botter Family Estate wine range that recently joined its portfolio, as well as launching a Prosecco rosé and an organic Pinot Grigio. Ellis is also showing Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne 2001 from Donatella Cinelli Colombini and her team of female winemakers, and the 1995 vintages of Vin Santo de Montepulciano from Cantina Crociani - made using the traditional "caratelli" fermentation and ageing process, in which air-dried grapes are fermented in small cigar-shaped barrels for up to 10 years.

Alliance Wine has been appointed UK distributor for Brunello producer Uccelliera, which makes a Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino and a Sangiovese/Cabernet IGT called Rapace. Alliance says the wines are stylish and elegant, and calls Uccelliera and its winemaker Andrea Cortonesi "a star in the making". The agency is also showing: a Veneto Pinot Grigio and a Sicilian Nero d'Avola from its entry-level own-brand Bella Modella, targeted at independents; Mormoraia's Vernaccia and Chianti from Colli Senesi, made with new consultant oenologist Paolo Caciornia; and intense, full-bodied reds from Puglia's Vinicola di Apollonio.

Klaus Fetzner, export director for Chianti producer Capannelle, will be pres-enting barrel-fermented Chardonnay 2004, Sangiovese-based IGT Solare 1999 and table wine 50:50, a Sangiovese/Merlot blend, as well as Chianti Classico Riserva 2000. The wines are distributed by Top Selection in the UK.

Three growers from Richards Walford's Italian range - mainly from northern Italy - will be at the tasting. Roberto Minuto of Cascina Luisin in Barbaresco will be showing wines from three different vineyard sites, including Barbaresco Sorì Paolin 2001, made from 40-year-old vines planted on sandy, south-facing slopes. Jennifer Schmelzer of Tuscany's Monte Bernardi will be showing Chianti Classico DOCG 2005 and IGT wines Sa'etta 2004, a 100 per cent Sangiovese, and Tzingana 2004, a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot blend designed to resemble a high-quality Graves or Pomerol. Tommaso Paglione, of Vecchie Terre di Montefili, will be showing wines from the vineyard of his father-in-law, Roccaldo Acuti, who is retiring. He will show a range of table, DOCG and IGT wines. Richards Walford's stand will also feature a range of wines from Tuscany, Lombardy, Piedmont and the Veneto.

Berkmann Wine Cellars is showing new vintages from the Veneto including Toar 2000, made from the ancient Oseleta grape variety. Cotarella's Falesco in Umbria is extending its range with a Bianco and Rosato 2006. Southern producer Tasca d'Almerita is showing new stickies Tenuta Capofaro 2005 and Diamante d'Almerita 2005, and Sardinia's Pala will preview Vermentino varietal wine Stellato 2006.

Winetraders is introducing Fattoria Nicodemi, Giovanna Tantini and Azienda Agricola Boroli. Elena Nicodemi from Fattoria Nicodemi and Max Ticli from Boroli will be at the tasting, alongside Winetraders' existing producers Stefano Inama, Lucio Mastroberardino of Terredora, Attilio Pecchenino and Jacopo Bacci from Castello di Bossi.

Massimiliano Jacobacci's FortyFive10 will be showing wines from a range of mainly family-run producers including Castellare di Castellina, Tenuta San Leonardo, Tenuta Valdicava, Venica & Venica, Castello di Neive, Brovia and Tenuta Hofstatter.

Look out for:

Natura Amore, launching Maskaria Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOC 2004 from Sicily and Chardonnay/Inzolia blend Iris IGT 2006

Fiandaca, showing Gerardo Cesari's award-winning Bosan Ripasso, Bosan Amarone and a new gold-top screwcap for Farina Pinot Grigio

Trentino co-operative CAVIT - which handles around 65 per cent of the region's wine production - showing new vintages of its Bottega Vinai whites (£7-£8.99), including a Trentino DOC Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc

Ethica, showing off the new look for Casa Girelli's Canaletto and its recent Müller-Thurgau and Pinot Noir additions, alongside an eclectic mix of wines from Cantina La-Vis.

Regional specialities from Alto Adige

Alto Adige will be showing 12 wines from producers around the region at a generic table. The high-altitude region focuses on whites with firm, fruity acidity and strong varietal character, and varietal Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer wines will be on show alongside white blends. There will also be reds made from Pinot Noir and Alto Adige's native Lagrein. Producers at the table include Tiefenbrunner, Franz Haas, Cantina Bolzano and Loacker Tenute.

Essential information about the tasting

When: Wednesday June 27, 10am-6pm

Where: Nursery Pavilion, Lord's Cricket Ground, London NW8

Tickets: Register at,


or call 01638 614775

Catalogue: Download it at

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