Vinitaly 2006

Catch up on what happened during the 40th anniversary of Italy's biggest wine fair.

Vinitaly, Italy's biggest wine fair held each year in Verona closed Monday leaving a general feeling of satisfaction among producers, buyers and consumers. Some called this year's tradeshow, which ran from April 6-10th and marks the fair's 40th anniversary, one of the most successful ever.

"This was the best Vinitaly in 30 years," said celebrated Barbaresco producer Angelo Gaja. "The organization was very good and so were the contacts." Stefano Girelli of Casa Girelli in Trento described it as "one of the most optimistic Vinitalys" in memory.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine's presence is a regular sight at Vinitaly.

Driving the feeling of optimism was a strong international presence. Event organizers claimed 10 percent more foreign buyers were present during the first three days of the fair (open only to trade and press) over the same period last year. More than 144,000 people visited the five-day fair and of these 23 percent were foreigners. The fair measured 80,000 square meters (860,000 square feet) and hosted some 4,200 producers - 150 more than 2005. "There were many more foreigners than I expected," said Batasiolo Export Manager Leticia Calvo. "I'd say 50 percent were foreign and the other half were Italian."

One of the fair's highlights was Sunday's tasting and panel discussion organized by importers Winebow that saw new vintages and wines from five of Italy's most esteemed enologists.


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