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Italian and US wine, everlasting relationship, says “Wine Spectator”

Top management of the US magazine at “Opera Wine”, looking towards the “New York Wine Experience” in October. Antinori and Gaja among the “wine stars”
Thomas Matthews, Alison Napjus and Bruce Sanderson of Wine Spectator

The relationship between Italian wine and the US is very special, which common knowledge. And, it has been confirmed even during these difficult months, as export numbers have demonstrated (a slight decrease, around -5.2% in 2020 compared to 2019, while now, starting in April 2021, the trend is once again positive, according to data from the Vinitaly Observatory and Wine Monitor). The voices of wine producers as well as those who narrate Italian wine every day on such an important market as the United States, confirmed the enduring relationship. Furthermore, the top management of Wine Spectator participated at OperaWine, the famous tasting that marked restarting in person events and promoting Italian wine, including 186 iconic Italian wineries in Verona organized by Veronafiere, and confirmed the everlasting relationship to WineNews. They launched an ideal bridge to one of the most awaited promotional events in the States, the “New York Wine Experience”, to be held from October 21st to 23rd, already sold out. In the meantime, waiting for the wineries chosen for the “Critic’s Choice Grand Tasting”, the “wine stars” of the in-depth seminars have been announced. And, in such a celebratory edition as the 40th anniversary of the event, it will feature, among others, two legends of Italian and International wine like Piero Antinori, head of the historic Marchesi Antinori, and Angelo Gaja, iconic producer of the excellent wines of the Langhe and Italy, as well as Sting and Trudie Styler, producers in Tuscany of Il Palagio (oenologist, Riccardo Cotarella). Further, there will be names such as Bill Arlan of California's Harlan Estate, or singer-producer Jon Bon Jovi, with Hampton Water, in New York State. In addition, of course, to the tastings of the best wines of Wine Spectator’s “Top 100” 2020, including San Filippo’s Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere 2015, at position 3 on the ranking, and Massolino’s Barolo 2014, at number 7, and the top 3 of the 2019 ranking, including Chianti Classico 2016 of San Giusto a Rentennano.
“Wine Spectator is happy to be back in Italy, to celebrate the reopening of the world. It is a wonderful event for us, and we are happy to be here”, Thomas Matthews, editorial advisor of Wine Spectator told WineNews. The most represented denominations in the selection for Opera Wine were Brunello di Montalcino (17 wineries: Altesino, Sassetti Livio, Banfi, Baricci, Biondi Santi, Canalicchio di Sopra, Casanova di Neri, Col d'Orcia, Eredi Fuligni, Il Poggione, Lisini, Castel Giocondo di Frescobaldi, Mastrojanni, San Filippo, Silvio Nardi, Siro Pacenti and Valdicava of the Bertani Domains Group) and Barolo (16 wineries, Casa E. di Miriafiore of the Fontanafredda di Farinetti Group, Ceretto, Damilano, Elvio Cogno, GB Burlotto, GD Vajra, Luciano Sandrone, Marchesi di Barolo, Mascarello Giuseppe & Son, Massolino - Vigna Rionda, Paolo Scavino, Pecchenino, Pio Cesare, Poderi Aldo Conterno, Prunotto and Vietti), according to Bruce Sanderson there are many top territories, starting with Chianti Classico. The historic territory where “a great deal of work has been done in the last 20 years, new clones and several investments in quality, and recently, the choice of Additional Geographical Mentions and strengthening the Grand Selection. All of these things describe a territory that is far from dormant, despite its 300-year old history. There are already great quality wines here, very good, which still have room for improvement in the future”.
The future on the market will be free from the shadow of duties, which have been deferred for at least five years, although, in any case, over the last few months saved, and perhaps favored Italy, compared to competitors such as France. “I think the deferral is a good thing for all wines. It was crazy to put duties on wine because of a dispute involving airplanes; so, we are happy that they have been removed, as this will allow all wine producing countries to export to the US without penalties”, added Sanderson.
The sentiment on the US has been decidedly positive in the second half of 2021, which is also due to substantial stability, as Alison Napjus pointed out, “Italian wine in the US was very successful in 2020, and starting up again, I can only be optimistic. Consumers were forced to stay at home, but explored a lot, ordering online wines delivered directly to their homes, and Sicily, for example, has seen a surge in sales. These difficult months have also been an opportunity for Americans to learn more about Italian wines, in the comfort of their own homes. And now, finally, they are returning to restaurants again, which is the real test for Italian wine in America.

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