South Africa was ubiquitous at this year’s VINITALY and SOL&AGRIFOOD from 9-12 April in Verona, Italy. 

Two stands represented South Africa at VINITALY, one arranged by the South African Consulate General in Milan, the other under the aegis of AFRIWINES, the major importer of South African wines in Italy.  Wines from Ayama, Cape Dreams, Dalla Cia, Diemersdal, Diemersfontein, Idiom, Linton Park, Morgenster, Nabygelegen, Rhino Park, Savanha Wines and Spier were presented to eager and numerous Italian wine operators. 

Crowded South Africa stand at Vinitaly 2017


At the Consulate General’s information point the Marketing Officer, Ms. Marcella Uttaro, and Trade Assistant, Mr. Anwar Majal, highlighted wine industry news and tourism itineraries in South Africa with notable success among tour operators.  The Consul-General, Ms. Titi Nxumalo, officially opened three wine tastings: “The great wines of South Africa – blends”, “The uniqueness of South African wines”,  and an unusual comparative tasting together with the Italian 881Emilia Romagna region on “San Giovese wines”.

(front from left)Sabrina Chacon (Afriwines), Consul-General Nxumal and  interpreter (back from left)Sommelier speaker Guido Invernizzi and Roberto Bottega of Idiom Wines 

Mr. Fabio Albani of AFRIWINES not only manned a constantly teeming stand, he also presented wines for the new VINITALY project “5 Star Wines – the Book”, an enterprise to draw up a listing in “The Book” of the finest wines adjudged by a panel of the world’s most respected judges of wine.  Seven South African wines are now in “The Book” which means that each obtained a score of 90 or more on a scale of 100! :

1.    Diemersfontein Carpe Diem  Wellington Reserve Pinotage 2014 (93) 
2.    Diemersfontein Chenin Blanc 2016 (91)
3.    Cape Dreams Pinotage 2015 (91)
4.    Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Chenin Blanc 2016 (90)
5.    Morgenster Reserve 2011 (90)
6.    Spier Creative Block No 2 Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (90)
7.    Idiom Bottega Family Viognier 2014 (90)

Cape Town and Verona are in the network of “Great Wine Capitals” featuring 10 of the best wine tourism destinations. A tasting event at Vinitaly featured one wine from each city. South Africa was represented by the Rupert & Rothschild Classique 2014. 

The Fair of Verona had also invited three buyers from South Africa to business-to-business meetings and tastings. Those who accepted the invitation were Ludwig and Lodine Maske from La Cotte, Franschhoek, Paolo Palmieri, Director of Palman Foods, Cape Town and Roberto Reffo, Director of Adriatic Shipping, Johannesburg.

Glenn Babb  -  Babrius,  e-mail