Well after 30 hours travel time it was good to arrive in Rome Tuesday afternoon and relax before we hit the ground running on Wednesday morning. Our first stop was the headquarters at Farnese in Abruzzo who are the guys behind Pipoli (Basilicata), Gran Sasso (Abruzzo) and Lucarrelli (Puglia) who we represent in Australia.
It was a great afternoon going through all the new vintage wines which will be available in Australia throughout 2014 and also some new wines which I think will be well received in Australia. All the wines focus on indigenous varieties grown in the region they originate from. It is good to see also the names Bianco and Rosso appearing on the label from wines that are a blend of indigenous varieties. It will give us a reason to educate and show why these native grape varieties are so suited to these Southern Italian regions.
After a two and half hour tasting we were off for a forty minute drive up to near the top of one of the nearby mountains for a fantastic dinner that put cheese (from Campania) and local Salami front and centre. I have never tried so much fresh cheese and it was hard to stop going back for more.
However, when we were told that main was a 2.5kg bistecca I knew I better keep some room for this. Whilst the meat was great, the highlight was definitely the antipasto.
After less than 24 hours in Abruzzo, we woke up early and drove up to Vittoria Veneto and onto Le Vigne di Alice which is the home of our prosecco for Mondo Imports. Since working with Alice of the last five years, we have seen demand and sales increase at a massive rate and we now ship straight containers of Prosecco to Australia.
These guys are also part of the team behind Umberto Luigi Domenico Cosmo Prosecco which distribute in the Australian market. The new label (a collaboration between Mondo and Australian artist Meredith Gaston) is on the way to Australia and I can’t wait to see the reaction from those in the trade.
After dinner tonight at Le Vigne di Alice we head tomorrow to the town of San Daniele in Fruili and then onto Trieste.