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The wine of the future? Good, clean, and fair: the “Slow Wine Fair” 2023 message

From today to 28 February the BolognaFiere & Slow Food event: the role of small winemakers and the sectors’ influence on politics

“The wine of the future will be the one outlined by the Slow Wine Coalition because viticulture must take the path we are blazing. Wine is a driving part of the Italian agricultural and productive sectors, and if we can have a positive impact on the production system, wine can become an ambassador of a different system, respectful of the environment, capable of protecting biodiversity, and caring for soil fertility: in this way, all food will go in that direction. The Slow Wine Fair is a visual representation of the Slow Wine Coalition’s journey towards a future of good, clean, and fair wine and food”. To WineNews, Barbara Nappini, president of Slow Food Italy, at the inauguration of the Slow Wine Fair 2023, an event organized by BolognaFiere under the artistic direction of Slow Food that brings together 750 good wine producers, clean and sustainable, from all over Italy and from 21 countries, from today to Tuesday 28 February.
“Politics must be able to give the way to the right decisions; we move globally in three directions: biodiversity protection, education, and influence on political decisions. We act as spokespersons for wine producers’ and supply chain protagonists' insights and honest reflections in order to put pressure on political decisions capable of providing concrete and correct answers for a good, clean, and fair wine system”. Barbara Nappini’s resume. Slow Food has always advocated for consuming less but doing it better; it is no coincidence that the definition of a consumer we use is that of a co-producer, that is, an ally of the producers: when I drink wine, I support a type of supply chain, and this is a cultural as well as a political and economic choice. We must now become builders of meaning, not just consumers, building the meaning behind the glass of wine, the bottle of oil, the loaf of bread we buy every day because it is the most important thing to make sense of the future”, concludes Slow Food Italia’s president.
“The presence of exhibitors and visitors at the Slow Wine Fair demonstrates how important trade fairs are for the agri-food sector, even in 2023. The fairs help those who produce in a territorial district logic, but they also provide an opportunity to reflect, define strategies, and confront those who are putting new rules in place for the sector. In addition to the Slow Wine Fair, Sana, the international exhibition of organic and natural products, and Marca, also the Mercato dei Vini dei Vignaioli Indipendenti will be held in November at BolognaFiere. A calendar that demonstrates how the fair is increasingly becoming a place where it is possible to reason in terms of sustainability, with a strong emphasis on the local and national, and at the same time a strong openness to exports and internationality”, added Gianpiero Calzolari, president of BolognaFiere.
“2022 brought a record for Italian wine exports, at 8 billion euros, but also a media cross-attack never seen before”, recalled Brunella Saccone, director of agri-food and wines at the Ice Agency, who highlighted international buyers’ interest in organic products, particularly from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and China. “It must be explained to the world that wine has always been a part of our food culture and that viticulture is about biodiversity conservation”. Instead, Federbio President Maria Grazia Mammuccini recalled the battle of organic producers, saying that “those who produce using synthetic chemistry are concerned with not harming those who work with respect for the health of the environment and people”.
Pau Moragas Bouyat, the winemaker of the Spanish collective L’Olivera, who represented the Slow Wine Coalition, describes the Slow Wine Fair as a fair capable of putting reflection, people, and politics at the center. “Ours is a team that works together to produce foods that, in addition to giving pleasure, bring values such as sustainability, protection of the landscape, and support for the local economy. One of our wines is called “Naltres” (us in Catalan, ed), and on the label there are the names of those who made it possible. In a wine world where individuality has become the preferred mode of communication, we reaffirm the value of the collective. In this sense, the consumer is a co-producer: without a consumer, our work is meaningless, as the Slow Wine Fair’s very metaphor suggests. “There is no competition here; the Slow Wine Coalition is a network of friends and colleagues with common goals, and wine is, above all, an expression of origin and work”, the Catalan producer explained.
The testimony of Sabiha Apaydın Gönenli, spokesperson for the Slow Food Heritage Vines of Turkey community (the WineNews interview will be online in the coming days) and sommelier of the Mikla restaurant, who recalled the terrible earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, highlighting how it is still more necessary now to ensure that the agro-food and wine heritage of these territories is safeguarded.

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