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Wines and wineries awarded, but also reflections on the future of wine: here is Slow Wine 2023

Climate change, work ethic, but also the role of disciplinary and consortia, the themes of the Guide, told by the curator, Giancarlo Gariglio

A guide was needed, and perharps still need it, to guide the market and consumers, on a particular product. But it can also be a kind of “book of inquiry”, capable of taking a snapshot of the moment of an industry, of its business, and of stimulating reflection on issue fundamentals to the present and the future. As it has been doing, speaking of wine, for some time now, “Slow Wine”, Slow Food’s wine guide, which will present its 2023 edition in Milan, on October 8, with a big tasting at Superstudio Più. And for a guidebook that, as its editor, Giancarlo Gariglio, tells WineNews, “judges not just wines, but the wineries themselves, visiting them all” issues such as climate change, sustainability, environmental and social, as well as the future role of appellations and specifications, are central themes. In numbers, explains Gariglio, the guide counts “1957 wineries reviewed, of which 58% certified bio and biodynamic, and therefore with a more virtuous agriculture, according to our vision, with over 700 award-winning wines, and 227 “Chiocciole” our highest recognition”.
A guide that, especially in a hot and dry year like this one, at least until late August, touched on the effects of climate change. “We have seen vines with little fruit, and dehydrated, as will also be seen in hundreds of videos accessible by Qr Code. We have saw very reactive responses of producers, especially from those who are in the vineyard every day. But in random order. Scientific research is needed to provide systemic answers, and our hope is that Italian and Eu institutions will take it on, for real. But the comparison between producers is also needed, which will be focus of the Slow Wine Fair 2023, on stage in February 2023, in Bologna”.
Another fundamental theme is that of social sustainability, which rhymes with “work ethic”. “We have to keep our attention up, because despite surveys like the one we did five years ago with Slow Wine, by my own signature, on the Langhe, we thought, and hoped, that something would change. Still, instead, there are incidents of labor exploitation. Even in important wine territories, which are not immune to this scourge. There is much to be done, raising awareness among both consumers and the producers themselves, who may rely on cooperatives, trusting them, but then it the same cooperatives that sometimes exploit the workers, who would then be their “partners”. But on the contrary”, underlines Giancarlo Gariglio, “the virtuous role that wineries sometimes play in marginal areas should also be highlighted, where, thanks to wine, tourism and a new economy also develop”.
Another central theme of Slow Wine’s reflection, and at the center of the presentation, on October 8 in Milan, however, is also the role of denominations and specifications, and their ability to keep up the times. “Let’s start with the fat that Slow Food has always in favor of denominations. They were fundamental for the development of agriculture. But precisely because they are so important it must be understood what their future will be. Many specifications have been written in past, often many years ago, and in the meantime, a lot has changed. And therefore, some of the organoleptic parameters set to describe a wine for specification, perhaps, also need to be updated. Also taking into account that, in twenty years, there has also been a revolution from an enological point of view, in the cellar, in the direction of less intervention. And this has also made the wines themselves are, in some way, less “homologated”. But then it happens that producers who fully respect the parameters of the disciplinary regulations, such as the yield per hectare and so on, perhaps even observing them in an even more restrictive and virtuous way perhaps the wine are rejected by the Tasting Commision, which refer to organoleptic dictates fixed in the past. And, on this, we need to reason. As we will do, also with a European vision thanks to the presence, among other guests, of Matilde Poggi, who is president Cevi (Confédération Européenne des Vignerons Indépendants).”

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