Seen from outside, Montréal’s Palais des Congrès is a kaleidoscope of colored windows. The final stop on the Tre Bicchieri World Tour 2011/2012 was here, a city where over 300,000 Italian-Canadians live, and was organized, for the third time, in collaboration with Quebec’s state monopoly, SAQ, Société des Alcools du Québec. The event was the ideal closing curtain for our tour.
“Montreal is sensitive to quality wines, and on my travels, I’ve rarely met with such appreciation for Italian labels,” said Jarno Trulli as he poured us a glass of his Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Trulli is also a Formula 1 driver who has traveled around the world behind the wheel of his racing car. As he explained that he inherited his passion for the land and for wine from his Abruzzese family, his spontaneous, natural manner charmed us. He’s certainly not playing the role of a Formula I star. We asked him what the worlds of wine and of racing cars have in common.
“Absolute attention to detail, the search for excellence, and a maniacal study of every phase of the project. Whether you’re traveling at 360 kilometers an hour or working in a vineyard, everything has to be perfect if you want to reach your goal in the best way.” As we tasted his Amorino 2007, from Podere Castorani, Trulli confessed. “I never expected a Tre Bicchieri award, and it filled me with joy. It’s great to be here with Gambero Rosso and promote the best Italian wines.”
i 120 produttori italiani
> Over 120 Italian producers came to Montreal for this event. “It went really well. In this economic climate it’s essential to invest in this sort of happening. This market is crucial for us,” said Angela Velenosi. For some producers, like Capichera or the small winery from Bolgheri, I Luogi, Montreal was the first event they attended. I Luoghi’s wine, Bolgheri Superiore Campo al Fico, was one of the first to totally sell out. Within the first few hours, nineteen other wineries also sold out all the wine imported for the event. Attendees were able to taste the winning wines and then purchase directly through the SAQ computers set up in the hall, a key arrangement. Gilles Goulet, SAQ’s purchasing director said, “Every year we deal with 20 million cases of alcoholic beverages, of which 70% is wine. Italy’s 24% share of the market is second only to France, but it increases by 8% annually, so we see ample margins for growth.”
“By now, the Tre Bicchieri event marks the beginning of summer for Montreal, just before the Gran Prix and all the other festivals held in the city,” said Moreno de Marchi, the force behind this project. “This year’s was the best Tre Bicchieri event held in Montreal.”
Next year’s tour is set for June 3, 2013 and will include Toronto on June, 5 in collaboration with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. We will be presenting the Tre Bicchieri wines chosen for the 2013 edition of Vini d’Italia. Tastings are now in full swing, with over 70 experts working in all the regions of Italy; the new guide will be released in Rome on October 20. And the Tre Bicchieri Tour will begin again, bringing the best of Italian winemaking to the world.