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G7 starts in Puglia: Italy ready to show off its excellence, including great wines and starred chefs

Chef Bottura in the kitchen, label-icons in the glasses, Dop and Igp products on the plate (and in the “encyclopedia”)

If it is true that in politics agreements, strategies and alliances are very often born at the table, there is no doubt that the G7, the Summit of the Great of the Earth, which starts today in Puglia (under Italy’s chairmanship) could not enjoy a better setting: starting with the location, the exclusive and highly refined Borgo Egnazia, a concentrate of the Italian lifestyle that the world envies us (total white architecture, swimming pools, golf courses, trulli and a private lido, for years the vacation destination of international celebrities, from Madonna to the Beckhams, via Justin Timberlake). And also from the point of view of food & wine, our country is ready to show off its excellence, to prove, if there was any need, that, from the point of view of hospitality and bien vivre, nobody beats us. Thus, to cook for Biden, Macron, von der Leyen, Trudeau, Sunak & Co., has been summoned chef Massimo Bottura (Michelin three-starred with his Osteria Francescana, in Modena, also elected best restaurant in the world in 2016 and 2018 by the prestigious ranking The World’s 50 Best Restaurants), who will pay homage to the great regional tradition with the “Come to Italy with me” menus. In the glasses will be poured the labels-symbols of that made-in-Italy enology that has been reaping international success for years: from sparkling wines - Ferrari’s Trentodoc, Bellavista’s Franciacorta and Villa Sandi’s Cartizze - to great reds, from Tenuta San Guido’s Sassicaia to Antinori’s Tignanello, from Casanova di Neri’s Brunello di Montalcino to Ceretto’s Barolo, from Masi’s Amarone della Valpolicella to Boschetto Campacci’s Chianti Classico, and then the whites, from Jermann’s Vintage Tunina to Marisa Cuomo’s Fiorduva Furore, from Masciarelli’s Trebbiano d’Abruzzo to Argiolas’ Vermentino di Sardegna, passing through Valle Isarco’s Kerner Aristos and Donnafugata’s “sweet” Ben Ryé. There will be no shortage of Apulian wines, more than 30 labels, from Gianfranco Fino’s Primitivo Es to Vespa Vignaioli’s Donna Augusta, the journalist-viticulturist’s label. Among the protagonists at the table are the best ingredients of the Italian tradition, from cheeses to cured meats, from desserts to bread (a vast heritage of more than 900 excellences enclosed in the Qualita-Treccani Atlas, which Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida wanted to pay homage to the Heads of State, in a special limited edition in English). The convivial side officially starts tonight, with a dinner hosted by President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, in Brindisi’s Castello Svevo, and the inaugural toast with “Annamaria Clementi” 2015 from Ca’ del Bosco, the super griffe of Franciacorta and great Italian sparkling wine. The curiosity: along with handcrafted bags and ties, all Heads of State will receive an elegant gift box containing a bottle of Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2012. The only exception will be those for whom protocol does not include alcohol, who will receive a selection of Tassoni labels. Because in Italy even Cedrata becomes an excellence.
Official festivities begin this evening, in the impressive setting of Brindisi's Castello Svevo, with the inaugural dinner hosted by President of the Republic Mattarella. For the heads of state of Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America - along with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen - a welcome toast with “Annamaria Clementi” 2015 Ca’ del Bosco, among the most iconic sparkling wines of the Franciacorta brand and one of Italy’s finest wineries. The menu, strictly Apulian, is entrusted to chef Vincenzo Elia of Tenuta Moreno (one of the region’s best-known hospitality businesses) and includes Scorfano with Torre Guaceto fiaschetto cherry tomatoes and herbs, Tortelli stuffed with gurnard with smoked greenhouse fish, followed by Filetto di dentice with Toritto almonds and burrata di Andria cream; to finish, sweet tarallo crumble and Ferrovia cherries (a variety native to the Murge), followed by an artichoke-based bitter, Carduus Brindisino, and Fadi coffee, made by an artisanal coffee roaster in Francavilla Fontana. In addition to wines from Puglia - Primitivo Visellio, Oltremè rosé and Vermentino Libens, all by Tenute Rubino, then Fiano from Tenuta Bocca di Lupo, Masseria Maime’s “Furia di Calabria” and Franco Di Filippo’s Moscato di Trani “Estasi” - Ferrari Riserva Lunelli 2015, a sparkling wine that is a symbol of Italian style, will be served.
From tomorrow, the direction in the kitchen will then pass to chef Massimo Bottura, who will be in charge of lunches and dinners at Borgo Egnazia: here the leitmotif will be the great tricolor cuisine (and what better way to plead, in front of the greats of the Earth, its candidacy as Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage?): the “Come to Italy with me” menus include great traditional dishes revisited by the chef, such as pesto, lasagna and tortellini.
The first day starts with the flavors of the south: Tomato ice cream and toasted bread crisp and gold leaf, from Campania, and Adriatic fish soup, straight from the Venice lagoon. Then a stop in Sardinia with Blue Lobster Risotto, sea bass and citrus bottom, followed by Cod with Nocellara green olive sauce, Pantelleria capers and Cetara anchovy colatura, a Sicilian specialty. Dessert will be his iconic Oops I dropped my lemon tart, with Sorrento lemons, bergamots from Calabria and almonds from Noto. The second day is dedicated to the north: the opening dish, inspired by Liguria, is Come un pesto alla genovese, the chef’s signature dish. It moves on to Emilia with two more recipes that have made Bottura’s fortune: The Crispy Part of a Lasagna, a creative interpretation of the Bolognese dish, and Tortellino del dito mignolo, served with light Parmigiano Reggiano cream from Rosola. The homage to Piedmont is inevitable with Piedmontese Fassona, served with Barolo sauce and black summer truffle from Umbria. Finally, berry dessert in milk and vanilla cream with basil scent, from Trentino Alto Adige. On the third day, before departure, world leaders will be able to freely choose from an array of dishes at a buffet lunch as a final reminder of the flavors of Italy. Accompanying Bottura’s dishes will be iconic wines of Made in Italy: on the first day, in addition to sparkling wines from Ferrari and Bellavista, Torre Rosazza Friulano Friuli Colli Orientali 2021, Jermann Vintage Tunina Venezia Giulia 2022, Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2022 will be served, Marisa Cuomo Fiorduva Furore, Marchesi Antinori Tignanello 2021, Brunello di Montalcino Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova 2019, Chianti Classico Riserva Boschetto Campacci Ruello 2020 and, finally, Passito di Pantelleria Donnafugata Ben Ryé 2022. On the second day, however, it will be the turn of Alta Langa Malcarberto, Villa Sandi Valdobbiadene Superiore Cartizze La Rivetta Brut 2023, Vermentino di Sardegna Is Argiolas 2023, Valle d’Isarco Aristos Kerner Alto Adige Valle Isarco 2022, Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva 2020, Masi Valpolicella Superiore Toar 2020, Lambrusco di Sorbara Cavicchioli, Sassicaia 2019 Tenuta San Guido, Barolo Ceretto and, finally, Fattoria Zerbina Scaccomatto. The last lunch before departure will be accompanied by Carvinea Eliele Metodo Classico 2013, Gianfranco Fino Es Red 2019 Primitivo del Salento and Vespa Vignaioli’s Donna Augusta, produced from the wineries of journalist-winemaker Bruno Vespa.
Unfailing ingredients of all convivialities will be made-in-Italy products, such as PDO and PGI cheeses (the PDO economy’s first food category by turnover, worth 60% of national cheese exports, with an estimated value close to 3 billion euros). Just as a “reminder” of the excellence they will taste, even if only a small part (given that there are more than 900 PDO, PGI and SGT products in our country), the Heads of State will receive the Qualivita-Treccani Atlas, a special version of the encyclopedia that collects the made-in-Italy agri-food heritage, with a preface by Premier Giorgia Meloni and Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida.

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