Veronafiere and Vinitaly unveil new international project OperaWine

Milan, 28th November 2011 – Veronafiere and Vinitaly present the new innovative venture OperaWine, to stage a series of international events that aims to cultivate knowledge on the intrinsic heritage, culture and character of Italian wine. Exclusive initiatives related to Italian wine and food tradition, history and art have been specifically designed to encourage international wine aficionados, journalists, sommeliers, wine educators, and other international operators to experience the distinctive identity of Italian wine in a cultural and historical context.

The first in a series of events under the OperaWine umbrella will be a Grand Tasting in Verona on March 24th, 2012 presented by Vinitaly in partnership with the American lifestyle magazine Wine Spectator. The new premier event to Vinitaly 2012 "Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers" will be staged in the ancient Palazzo della Ragione and mark the first time that Wine Spectator selected 100 wines of one sole country in Europe.

In anticipation of the Grand Tasting on March 24th, wine producers of the list of 100 Great Producers are invited to present their wines on Monday 28th of November in Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milano. Wine Spectator, an independent authority on wine rating with more than 3 million readers worldwide, is solely responsible for the selection of 100 producers from Italy. The invitation was extended on the basis of fundamental criteria such as: the representation of each Italian region with the aim to show buyers and operators the vast range of choice of Italian wine production, alas not exhaustive.

The selection of producers for the Grand Tasting aims to also reflect the ancient heritage and the important achievements of the Italian wine-growers. Bruce Sanderson, Senior Editor and Tasting Director of Wine Spectator said: "Wine Spectator has always had a high regard for Italian wines, and it is an honor for us to make a selection at the invitation, which aims to represent the rich and highly diversified Italian wine culture". Tom Matthews, Exective Editor of Wine Spectator also added that, "there is however one single characteristic that unites Italian wine: the excellence of production, given the history and tradition that each producer is able to tell with its label".

"The goal of the Grand Tasting is to increase the presence of international wine operators in Verona, and to increase the visibility of our events in the international press", said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of VeronaFiere. In addition, the Grand Tasting seeks to develop and cultivate knowledge on the excellence and diversity of the finest Italian wines and simultaneously give wine lovers the chance to experience unique, historical and cultural sites within the Italian peninsula. OperaWine is discovering the traditions, identity and heritage of the food and art in Italy, whilst falling in love with Italian wines."

There will be two modules scheduled for the morning of Saturday, March 24th which will be dedicated to Italian producers that seek to learn more about two target markets for Italian wine: USA and China.