On October 25, Lidia Bastianich and Italian wine industry leaders Piero Antinori and Francesco Zonin joined forces for New York City’s first ever Vinitaly event. Modeled after Italy’s annual wine trade show in April, the U.S. tour brought together Italian wine producers, key players in the wine trade industry and consumers. The backdrop for this premier NYC event was Eataly, an Italian artisan food and wine complex created by restaurateurs Joseph Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali and original Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti. It was here on Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street of Manhattan that hundreds of consumers flocked to taste more than 200 wines.
This Vinitaly, sponsored by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, attracted more than 500 attendees, with 100% of the proceeds going to The American Cancer Society. The success of the event was in fulfilling its two-fold objective: to introduce Italian wines to new palates, while also exposing the trade to labels not yet available on this side of the Atlantic. Some of the producers whose wines are not yet accessible stateside included Donnadicoppe from Sicily, Tenute Girolamo from Apulia and Cantina Perla del Garda from Lombardy.