[quote_simple]Two wine events, both alike in dignity. In fair Verona, where we lay our scene. From ancient farming break to new technology, where berries blood makes farmer hands unclean.[/quote_simple]
If Verona doesn’t sound synonymous to Vinitaly for you, then at least I should remind you of Romeo and Juliet. It was said that Shakespeare never came to Verona when he wrote this tragedy of stars-crossed lovers. Therefore I am proud to say I had it better than William, at least I’ve stepped on streets of Verona.
Vinitaly ranks as one of the world’s largest annual wine event held in Verona, on par with that of Vinexpo. Running since 1967, today’s Vinitaly, at its 48th edition, is a hybrid exposition for both food and wine, domestic and abroad. It was reported after the event on 9 April, 155,000 visitors, and among them 56,000 foreign buyers, were present in the four days event.
Here are some numbers to have a sense of its grandeur. From the press release I received, the international exhibition dedicated to wines and spirits is a sector worth more than 12 billion euros in Italy, employs 1.2 million people and posted exports worth more than 5 billion euros in 2013. Other source also mentioned about 1,900 sommeliers was deployed in Vinitaly 2013. With an exhibition floor space covering 100,000 square meters, having quality footwear is a pre-requisite to survive the fair.
With a brief respite after 12 hours of butt-numbing flight into Milan, the delegates including two journalists and several buyers from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, were shuttled to Verona. As per past years practice, Opera Wine warms up visitors to next four days of Vinitaly adventure. A proud display of hundred wine producers representing all corners of Italy in a spectacular hall with an air of magnifique was too exciting for my sleepy eyes. Two rows of gorgeous people dressed in 16-century garb marked the entrance into Palazzo Gran Guardia. Drawing crowds, throbbing hearts, and scarring livers right in the heart of Piazza Bra.
Surrounded with all the media buzz, alien language and beautiful people, this was my first experience of wine event on Italian soil.
I shall stop with the adventure’s opening because more tales of the romantic city will unravel in the next post. Now just bear with me for the Shakespearean-like closing.
[quote_simple]The which if you with patient eyes attend. What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.[/quote_simple]