Expo Be Crazy! (VinItaly 2017 Highlights, Part 1)

Expo Be Crazy! (VinItaly 2017 Highlights, Part 1)

VinItaly is… well… totally folle.

Held in Verona, Italy, bringing together hundreds of soon-to-be-inebriated members of the wine biz/trade/press/you-name-it, and functioning as a focal point for all (and I do mean all) of the wine regions of Italy, there is no other world wine event that combines quite the same blend of creativity, craftsmanship, and chaos.

Throngs of the soon-to-be-drunken at VinItaly 2017

That VinItaly has been held for decades and still isn’t quite what the Germans would consider as appropriately organized is less a statement about the event itself (which is, all in all, quite well-run), and much more an aspect of the reality that no one (and I say this as someone of Italian descent) is going to be able to successfully corral that many Italians in one place at the same time.

Cleaning up (apart from the shaving) for VinItaly 2017 in Verona

VinItaly, for all of its madcap madness, is actually an overwhelming surfeit of vinous pleasure for lovers of Italian wine. Weaving in an out of the complex of crowded, airplane-hangar-sized event spaces (organized by Italian wine regions), on the second day of the event I actually found myself wondering if I was going to be able to make it the full four days.  And I’m an extrovert.

But once everything was over, I found myself loving VinItaly. Not despite the madness, but because of it; because that unpredictable chaos is baked into the DNA of Italy, and, to some extent, its wines. So it’s fitting that some of my most memorable tasting episodes took place entirely by chance while I was there on a media invite earlier this year.

Because VinItaly is so, well, folle, I’m going to break up the highlights into two separate posts. As always with 1WD feature material, the focus is on the stuff that I fond most interesting; the wines that really blew my dress up for whatever reasons. There are a few too many highlights for me to give them the badge treatments, which I hope and trust that you’ll forgive. Not all of these wines are available stateside, and I’m hoping that some focus here can help rectify that.

So pour yourself a glass of something obscure from the Italian hinterlands, and let’s delve headfirst into the chaos…

2008 G. Milazzo Federico II Rex Sicilie Spumante Brut Millesimato, Sicily $NA


  • 2008 G. Milazzo Federico II Rex Sicilie Spumante Brut Millesimato, Sicily $NA
  • 2004 G. Milazzo Terre della Baronia Duca Montalbo IGT, Sicily $NA
  • 2014 Rosa del Golfo Portulano Negroamaro Salento IGT, Puglia $NA
  • 2013 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Tuscany $20
  • 2008 Bisceglia Gudarra Aglianico del Vulture Riserva, Basilicata $30
  • 2009 Garbole Hurlo Veronese Rosso, Veneto $NA
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