Anteprima Amarone 2011... through Matthias Stelzig eyes

 Matthias Stelzig - photo courtesy of  winelover.co

Matthias Stelzig - photo courtesy of winelover.co

As usual, in the latest edition of Anteprima Amarone ("Amarone Preview", this year focused on 2011 vintage) many foreign wine journalists were invited by the main organizer of the event, the Consorzio Tutela Vini della Valpolicella. The purpose was to introduce them into Valpolicella appellation, its wineries and wines. Before and afterward the two days of the event, the journalists have had many meetings with wine producers, visits to wineries and  wine tastings... 

How did everything go? In the group of foreign guests, there was also a respectable friend of Terroir Amarone: Matthias Stelzig, a German author of wine books, who recently is shifting to web wine writing (here his article for the topic of the month). We asked him a report of his experience in Valpolicella, and here there is what he replied....

"The visits to the wineries were well prepared. Winemakers were open to proposals. One of my favorite ones is to skip the cellar tour. From my point of view, this is one of the most useful changes in press visits. As to the selection of the wineries, to me writing a lot for consumers, it is always important to find individual producers, who stand out of the crowd. Another aspect I quite liked was the organization of the daily trips. It was nice to be with different people every day. Generally, I prefer international groups, they avoid a number of problems for me.

 Amarone della valpolicella wine bottles - photo courtesy of  consorzio valpolicella

Amarone della valpolicella wine bottles - photo courtesy of consorzio valpolicella

This was due to the fact that wineries chose visitors from countries in which markets they are present. Basically a good idea. But for me it is generally interesting to meet new winemakers who aren't in my country, yet. However, on this trip it didn't matter much, since I was doing a general research.

In the first evening there were two presentations. Being a historian myself, I was quite interested in the content. The presenters were very knowledgeable and had done their research. But they read their speeches, which was a bit lengthy. Also, there was some technical problem with the interpretation. I would have preferred a bit more condensed information.

The food pairing at dinner was interesting, I couldn't follow some  of them, though.

On the Anteprima itself, I appreciated the sommelier service downstairs, and it was a very nice way to explore the vintage. I had some interesting chats at the stands, too.

I liked the vertical tasting in the afternoon. All the more since I think the development of style and different styles is an important aspect. In my market, Amarone is basically known as a very rich and strong wine. And there is much more to it. The presentation with the detailed tasting notes of Luca Martini was not essential to me. I would have preferred more structural information. Just tell them about the Terroir Amarone Masterclass in Montreux, that was brilliant ;)...

In the end: organization and personal contact were ok, professional and also very friendly".