Slow Wine Fair is an international event dedicated to good, clean and fair wine, held at BolognaFiere from February 26-28, 2023, with hundreds of Italian and international wineries exhibiting thousands of labels, as well as conferences and masterclasses.
Over 10,000 visitors, half of whom were industry professionals, came to Bologna to explore the wineries selected according to the criteria of the Slow Food Manifesto for good, clean and fair wine. There was a strong presence of foreign industry operators, among whom hundreds of buyers selected together with the Italian Trade Agency and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in particular from the United States, the UK, China and Germany, allowing the exhibitors present to access new market.
Slow Wine Fair 2023 welcomed 750 wineries, 50% more than last year, doubling the area of the exhibition to two pavilions of BolognaFiere, with more than 100 international producers, with a particularly strong presence from France, China and North Macedonia. There were over 4000 labels on display, all representing an ethically and ecologically coherent approach to winemaking.
Radici‘s picks: our selection of Italian Wineries
As written, there were many wineries at the Slow Wine Fair 2023, each with a story to tell. At Radici we had the opportunity to meet some of these producers and let us be transported into their world of ground and wine.
We start from the north with Talestri, a story of three sisters from east Valpolicella: Anna, Lisa and Francesca, born and bred in the winery where their father Francesco Marcato produced Soave and Durello wine with his brothers. Talestri project rests on two fundamental cornerstones – diversity and sustainability. They grow Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, Rondinella and small quantities of other native and international varieties.
Going down the “Boot” we arrive in Emilia Romagna, at Tenuta Uccellina, which impressed us in particular for its work of rediscovering some native varieties of the region.
Founded in 1985. Tenuta Uccellina has been searching for the essence of “Romagna dei Vini”. The Founder, Alberto Rusticali, has always believed in the potential of traditional grapes of Romagna, seeking their most authentic expression. The adventure of Tenuta Uccellina began with Sangiovese, Albana and Trebbiano, and later enriched with other old Indigenous Grape Varieties of the local tradition: Uva Longanesi, Famoso and Cavecia.
From Tuscany the winery Montero‘, that was told to us at the fair by one of the family members, Milena Cacurri, who was able to present this land of legendary wines under a new perspective.
Among the representatives of the wineries of the Lazio region, very dear to us, Artico, represented at the fair by Federico Artico. Artico Azienda Agricola was born around the end of the 90s with the acquisition of small plots of land in the area of Aprilia and Colli Lanuvini, exactly on the border between the Roman countryside and the Pontine countryside. Since the first year of production they started a collaboration with the Roman street artist Diamond, in order to match original and recognizable labels with strong wines with a great personality.
Continuing through the center, we arrive at the winery Rio Maggio, from Marche: one of the less known Italian regions but that has a lot to offer in terms of food and wine. They are a young and dynamic family run company. They have always paid the greatest attention to respect the identity of individual vines, aiming to create “wines of vineyard”, each one with its specific characteristics, but all recognizable by their definite terroir. On the quality and naturalness of the wine is based their company philosophy and production, testified by important choices as the harvest by hand, the accurate selection of the grape bunches, the use of small boxes (max 20kg) to preserve the integrity of the single grape as well as the meticulous winemaking techniques.
From the Islands, the Sicilian winery Fabio Ferracane and the Sardinian winery Orro.
Currently Fabio Ferracane take care of 5 hectares of vineyard. Making an authentic wine is the mission that motivates him each day of work in the vineyard and in the cellar. For Fabio “Authenticity” means to be able to fully express the Marsala territory in his wines. The varieties of the winery are Catarratto, Grillo, Nero d’Avola and Merlot. Most of the vineyards are located practically in front of the Nature Reserve of the Stagnone Islands of Marsala. Fabio Ferracane really love this territory, with its sea breeze and warm Sicilian sun, the spectacular reflections of the salt pans and the breathtaking view of the Aegadian Islands.
Concluding therefore with Sardinia, Azienda Agricola Fattoria Didattica “Famiglia Orro” is a small family-run farm located in Tramatza, a small village in central western Sardinia, in the heart of the Mediterranean. The company is spread over 20 hectares of land where vines, olive trees and vegetables are grown. All productions are processed on site, wines at their winery and vegetables at the company’s food laboratory. Their work follows some fundamental principles and criteria: the defense of biodiversity, the development of sustainable agriculture, research for innovation without discarding traditional knowledge.
Wine as an opportunity for exchange and sharing
The Slow Wine Fair not only gave us the opportunity to discover many new Italian winemaking realities, but it was also an important moment of exchange of ideas and opinions on the world of wine, with people from all over the world. This cultural exchange was the protagonist of the two dinners organized by the Slow Wine coalition.
The first during the evening of February 26, at Cantina Bentivoglio, the second during the evening of February 27: a gala held at the Trattoria Bolognese of FICO Eataly World, during which producers sat at different tables brought their wine to pair with the proposed dishes. Thanks to this dinner we had the opportunity to meet and face with three other producers sitting at our table: Matteo Acme’ of the winery Filodivino from Marche, Federico Bibi of Terre Margaritelli winery from Umbria and Massimo Randi of Randi winery from Emila-Romagna.