|Fran and Bill at Vinitaly 2014 (photo courtesy of Cronache di Gusto)|
We recently returned from Vinitaly in Verona. As you enter the fair through VeronaFiere’s main gate called Cangrande, the Sicilia Padiglione (pavilion) is among the first to catch your eye. This four-day wine trade show, the largest in Italy, is open to the public on the first day only. As in recent years, the Sicily pavilion is a magnet for consumers. The Donnafugata, Planeta, Tasca, Cusumano and Settesoli stands, among others, were packed with wine lovers savoring the vibrant flavors of Sicily. In the corner of the pavilion is the “Business Area” where Sicilian wine producers meet with importers, distributors and retailers during the remaining three days. It is also an area where the Region of Sicily sponsors a program of lectures and panel discussions. This year the program included events on individual wine appellations, like the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG in the Val di Noto and the Monreale DOC in the Val di Mazara – West. There were also a series of panels on Sicilian extra-virgin olive oil and the cultural highlights of the Sicilian wine road.
Among the many initiatives supported by the Region of Sicily’s then-current Secretary of Agriculture, Dario Cartabellotta at this year's Vinitaly, is the Bio-Mediterranean Cluster at the Expo Milan 2015, the international exposition which will run from May 1 until October 31, 2015. The theme of Expo Milan 2015 is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” and the Bio-Mediterranean Cluster will be a pavilion which showcases the bio-diversity and richness of the Mediterranean’s agriculture and foods. Sicily, consistent with its geographic and historic role at the center of the Mediterranean, is slated to lead the Bio-Mediterranean Cluster (including twelve other countries) in this high profile event. Sicily’s wine, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, seafood, breads and sweets will all be on delicious display. We hope to see you there!