[MobilePRwire.com] San Francisco, CA - Italy's annual wine fair, Vinitaly, concluded today - but for Americans who love Italian food and wine, the party is just getting started with new Italian wines introduced through Slow Food USA. Five award-winning Italian winemakers share their new favorite wine and all-time best toast with Memoir Tree, the new free oral history app for iPhone.
Lodovica Lusenti: Bring a Stranger to the Party
Her first time in America, winemaker Lodovica Lusenti wasn't sure what to bring: a crowd-pleasing Chardonnay or Cabernet? But instead she brought a dark, handsome stranger: oak-aged La Picciona red wine, made with Bonarda grapes from her family's organic Emilia-Romagna vineyards. Emilia-Romagna is known as the home of parmesan cheese and prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham), but Lusenti is expanding its reputation with each inky, earthy glass of La Picciona. She raises her glass: "Peace to the world, because wine brings us all together."
Massimo Ruffino: Sip Straight from a Volcano
Quincunx Winery is taking Italian winemaking to new extremes, harvesting grapes on a still-active volcano on the Sicilian island of Lipari using ancient Roman methods. As Massimo Ruffino explains, Quincunx Bianco Pomice combines minerally, island-grown white malvasia and indigenous Sicilian Caricante grapes with Lipari's recently rediscovered ancient yellow moscato grapes. "The vines are less than one yard apart, so no mechanized production is possible," Ruffino says. But the effort is worth it, he says, "to create a lineage of wines, vines and people that make agriculture sustainable in Sicily again."
Alessandro Barosi: Rebel Against Regular Reds
Piedmont is famed for brooding Barolo, but Cascina Corte's rebel Piedmont winemaker Alessandro Barosi makes a convincing case for lighter, versatile Dolcetto. "It's not a simple wine - it's full-bodied and has structured tannins - but it's very easy to drink, very fresh," he says. He grows grapes organically in the same turf that yields prized white Alba truffles, and creates vintages with meals in mind – "it's very good with antipasti and salami," he says. Barosi says the best toasts are short, to start eating and drinking sooner: "Alla salute!" he says. "To health!"
Elisabetta Fagiuoli: Don't Ask, Just Drink Weird Whites
Tuscany's medieval walled hilltop town of San Gimignano is known for its noble white grape, Vernaccia, and increasingly its rosé-ready Canaiolo – but don't ask Montenidoli winemaker Elisabetta Fagiuoli to play favorites among the indigenous, organic varietals on her San Gimignano estate. "I make 11 different wines … and they are all perfect at the right time," she declares. Fagiuoli remains diplomatic even when drinking: "In Germany I say skol (cheers)," she says. "In France, I say, 'May our husbands never be widowed.'"
Stefano Almondo: Seek Out Hidden Treasures
Stefano Almondo brought a rare find from Piedmont to Slow Food USA: aromatic, single-vineyard Almondo Roero, made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes and oak barrel-aged for 20 months. "We have sandy soil, so our Roero is elegant, silky, soft," Almondo explains. He shares compliments for his family's Roero with the people of Piedmont, raising a toast "to the ingenuity of Piedmont and to the authenticity of our taste."
Roberto Focardi: Let the Wine Do the Talking
To do justice to Tuscany's rustic cooking, La Parrina offers a fresh take on one of Italy's oldest wines. "It's very simple, but what really represents our terroir is Sangiovese 2010," says La Parrina's Roberto Focardi. This bright, balanced, biodynamic red holds its own with three-inch-thick thick Tuscan steaks, and reflects La Parrina's sunny coastal vineyards. Focardi says that La Parrina Sangiovese inspires not speeches, but heartfelt outbursts: "Alla piacere del vino! Che bel momento!" (To the pleasure of wine! What a lovely time!"
About Memoir Tree App
All Italian winemaker interviews were captured at Slow Food USA's Golden Glass using Memoir Tree, the new oral history app for iPhone that gives everyone the power to make history and capture events as they happen. Memoir Tree is now available for free download in Apple iTunes App Store.
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