Going forward, I strongly believe the Italian Wine Industry should be basing it’s future and therefore success of the Italian wines abroad on the promotion of it’s indigenous grape varieties in world wide markets.
The days of Chianti, etc (ie the traditional successful varieties of the past) being the backbone of the Italian wine scene (and whilst I rate Chianti and Sangiovese for that matter) are nearly over. Whilst Chianti is near the top of my favorite Italian grapes, it is traction in the Australian market is declining every year.
In Australia we are seeing restaurants, journalists, and the wine drinking public more willing to try different varieties and in most instances, varieties that they have never heard of. These unkown grape varieties we have been showcasing through Mondo have been indigenous varieties from the region that they originate. This for me gets me more excited to see someone try Nerello Mascalese or our cheeky Bianco Salentino and be blown away by a grape variety they never even knew existed.
However, will these indigenous grape varieties ever be accepted in the mainstream like Chianti, Soave and Montepulciano of the past? And is it such a bad thing if it doesn’t achieve the success?
A lot of open questions and who know where the answer lies….