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Hong Kong, the Asian capital of fine wines, where narrating Italian wine is still a challenge

On March 28th the Gelardini & Romani auction. Raimondo Romani said, “narrating our story to free us from French domination”
Raimondo Romani

An in person auction, today, is still a mirage around at least half the world. This is not so, however, in Hong Kong, where, like all over Asia, life has long since returned to normal, mainly due to the very strict restrictions imposed on those arriving from abroad. As a matter of fact, Raimondo Romani, at the helm, together with Flaviano Gelardini, of the “Gelardini & Romani Wine Auctions”, in order to be present at the auction on March 28th, during the event, “Ciak - In The Kitchen”, the temple of Italian catering in Hong Kong, meant that he would be “spending three weeks in quarantine in a hotel”, he told WineNews.
It will be worth it, though, to bring the bottles that are the symbol of Italian wine, represented in all its finest forms under the hammer for Asian wine collectors. Ideally descending the qualitative pyramid “Grand Crus of Italy 2021” that Geraldini & Romani designed, there are Biondi Santi’s Brunello di Montalcino, Giacomo Conterno’s legendary Barolo Riserva Monfortino, as well as Sassicaia, Masseto, Ornellaia, Barolo Monprivato by Bartolo Mascarello, Barbaresco di Gaja, Brunello Cerretalto by Casanova di Neri, Tignanello and Turriga.
By now, it is more than certain that “experts and enthusiasts, regardless of nationality, are well aware of the value of our great territorial wines, which can be seen by the increase in prices in Piedmont, where Monfortino is in the lead”, explained Raimondo Romani. There is, however, a further step to be taken in communicating and narrating the Italian wine country,
because “the great Asian public, which looks at wine mainly through the eyes of US culture, knows the most famous and prestigious Italian wines from experts, who, however, narrate mostly French wines more than the knowledge of wine, but above all, because of the widespread perception according to which Italy is - culturally and oenologically - still following behind France’s lead. This is actually a primitive vision, at least for those who know European history and culture, including wine making”, continued Romani.
What transpires from this, then, is the wrong narrative, and in this respect, “I always try to do it justice in a provocative way. When people ask me what is the “hierarchy” (a very respected concept in Asian culture, where, as they say here, “saving face is everything”) between Italian and French wine, not being able to escape the logic of the question, I never fail to underline that the icon of Burgundy was called, from the name of the land, “Romaneé-Conti”, and not “London-Conti” or “Parisienne-Conti”, and further, Bordeaux is called, “Petrus”, complete with the image of the saint on the label ”, said Raimondo Romani.
These are all very “clear references to the fact that it was the Roman Empire that spread the art of winemaking throughout Europe.
Obviously, this provocation of mine immediately brings up the observation that Greece has an even older wine history than ours. But, even in this case”, concluded Raimondo Romani, “history comes to our aid again, and we can answer without fear of denial that the Greeks themselves preferred the wines produced in Magna Graecia, and so much so that they called our land Oenotria. And today, it seems that the circle is really closing with the rebirth of Etna wine; therefore, putting the wine “hierarchy” in order, according to wine historiography”.

Focus - Grand Cru d’Italia ranking by Gelardini & Romani Wine Auction 2021
I – Monfortino
II - Masseto
II - Brunello Riserva Biondi Santi
II - Brunello Riserva Soldera
III - Barolo Riserva Le Rocche del Falletto
III - Barolo Monprivato Mascarello
III - Barbaresco Riserva Giacosa
IV - Barolo Bartolo Mascarello
IV - Amarone Quintarelli
IV - Redigaffi
IV - Amarome dal Forno
V - Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Valentini
V - Barolo Riserva Granbussia A.Conterno
V - Barolo Giuseppe Rinaldi
V - Barbaresco Gaja
V - Sassicaia
V - Barolo Cascina Francia G.Conterno
V - Sperss
V – Le Pergole Torte
VI - Solaia
VI - Gaia and Rey Gaja
VI - Messorio
VI - Brunello Cerretalto Casanova di Neri
VI - Ornellaia
VI - Brunello Poggio di Sotto
VI - Trebbiano Valentini
VI - Brunello Biondi Santi (vintage)
VI - Chianti Riserva Il Poggio Castello di Monsanto
VI - Tignanello
VI - Turriga

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