Next month’s Il Collettivo tasting will be a chance to taste both well established Italian wineries that have been in the UK for some time, as well as see producers who will be showing their wines for the first time. Swig, which can claim Italy to be a number of its specialist wine countries, will be able to show both tried and tested and new wines at its stand at the show. Here we talk to some of their producers coming over for the March 7 tasting.
The latest in our The Il Colletivo tasting preview series looks at three very different Italian producers who will be sharing the stage with their UK importer, Swig, one of the five specialist distributors that have come together to make next month’s tasting on March possible, including Flint Wines, FortyFive10°, Sommelier’s Choice, and Astrum Wine Cellars.
Giovanni Laconis of La Jara admits coming to the UK to wave a flag for his Prosecco is not easy as there is so much competition in the market, but he urges buyers to come by for a taste. “The simple fact is you can find too much Prosecco in UK, but ours is probably one of the best! With the added value that is it also organically made.”
Even with all that competition London and the UK market still has great potential for a producer like La Jara, he adds: “London is one of the world’s most famous metropolis, full of restaurants, clubs, bars and pubs. This is true for other important cities in the UK as well so it is an important place for us to be.”
Ambrogio Cremona Ratti of Tenuta Sette Cieli in Tuscany is a big fan of the communal style of the Il Collectivo tasting: “It’s always exciting to participate in ‘collective’ tastings. For us it’s a great opportunity to both meet fellow like minded producers and get a chance to meet the people that will hopefully be telling our story to those who will drink our wines. I find it compelling as there’s generally more vibrancy and personal involvement.”
He adds: “We are hoping to show our finest wines, we think that they will have an impact as we try to balance the power of Bordeaux varietals with the elegance and acidity that comes from our vineyard.”
He is also quite clear why any buyer at the event should taste his wines: “You can’t leave the event without having tasted our 100% Cabernet Franc. It is made only in vintages that bring out the best from the variety and are carefully aged. I am always happy after I taste it; it has deep spice aromas and complexity. I am sure that this will be the case for many.”
He explains why the UK is still a very important market: “The UK has historically been a country that is great at imports, and that hasn’t changed. It has a great tradition of drinking and trading fine wines and has some of the most knowledgeable customers, who we want to drink our wines. Finally, London is obviously a place where everyone from around the globe gathers to do business and as such it is a key market where we can get global exposure.”
This will be the first Il Collectivo tasting for Paolo and Berluti of the La Calcinara winery and also marks what is not even the first year working with Swig. “I hope it will be another beautiful opportunity to promote our job and the wines of our land,” he says. “Collective tastings are always a wonderful opportunity for the producers to to be able to explain their roles and where our wines are positioned related to each other. Its’s not just a collective tasting about wine, but about Italy, we are all from the same country, same latin origin, same land, same “Enotria” (the Land of Wine), same Mediterranean influence,” says Paolo.
In terms of what wines we can expect to taste he is particularly keen to showcase its “Conero appellation (that unfortunately is not famous, yet) and our beautiful land”.
“Our wines are very much focused in the roots, in the limestone, in the minerality of our soil than in the fruit. We live and work in a Natural Park, the Conero Natural Park, a mountain that falls down into the sea with beautiful white rocks, and beautiful beaches. The only rock seaside of Adriatic Sea from Venice to the beginning of Puglia. That’s what we are trying to put in the glass and what we want to show. To do this you must work in organic way, and translate your growing vines and in the cellar where less is more. So what we want to show is a psychedelic travel in our land, where the land is Conero and the psychedelics are the human translation. These wines are right not just for the UK trade, but for people that want to taste the truth of a land.
“We also want to show our personality, our way of working, where we are using low sulphites (less and less every year), and indigenous yeast (not for every wine at the moment, but it will completely indigenous for the next vintages). Wines with strong personality. Wine is important, it’s not a drink, it’s wine.”
The chance to show that personality to buyers and sommeliers who might ultimately pour their wines to a customer is vital. “It won’t be me that fills the glass for the final consumer, so it’s important to know and speak wit those who will do that.”
The UK is still new and exciting for the La Calcinara winery. “Compared to the other our export markets, UK is at the beginning. We work well in Germany, Belgium, Australia, and New York…and hope to work better and better in UK.”
- To read more about the Il Collettivo tasting and to register to attend go its dedicated website here.