To all of my winemaking friends, and you know who you are, wherever you live, wherever you make wine, I would love you to consider sending your wines to the Free Wine award at Vin Italy 2016.
Organic. No adds (but there is the category for 20ppm tops addition). But, all love.
When I was asked to chair this award. I thought about it carefully.
It was a great honor. I was told I could choose the parameters for the judging as well as what kind of wine was eligible.
But then why did I have to think about it before agreeing?
Well, it's a big responsibility. What's more, awards are not usual in our specific natural wine culture. I wasn't sure how it would be received. But I said yes.
There were reasons.
For one, I love VinItaly and cut my journalist teeth there in the beginning of my wine writing.
The fact that they embraced this category is ground breaking. Frankly, it is a big deal and is bound to shake up the status quo.
But the biggest reason is that I saw this award as not merely an award. I saw it as a way to bring the conversation about what wine is--not only natural-- to a much larger audience. And that is worthy of the overused word, awesome.
I chose my judges carefully.
I wanted my team to be worthy of carrying on that discussion into the tasting room where we will look for qualities not quantities. I know they are worthy to comment on the wines and when granted, these awards will be meaningful.
So, let me drink to an award that will also open up a fabulous conversation and debate about the wines that we drink and love.
If you are a winemaker, grow your grapes at least organically and use no additions except maybe 20ppm So2, please check out the details...(forgive the legal mumbo jumbo) and send your wines!
The fine print for sending samples
on line registration at
PLEASE EMAIL Ioppi Alessandra --- Ioppi@veronafiere.it ---- for instructions