A tasting of wines from Italy is an annual event that occurs in October in four Canadian cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. The event is organized by the Italian Trade Commission and is reserved for the Canadian wine trade industry ( sommeliers, journalists, restaurateurs and SAQ people).

On its 23rd edition the event is the most anticipated one from the all the wine fairs happening in Montreal during the fall. Quebec wine people love their Italian wine and cant get enough of vino italiano!!.

I try to attend every year. As always, it is a very comprehensive wine salon. For instance, on this edition there were more than 100 producers from 18 regions from Piedmont to Sardegna. It is an endeavor to try to taste everything. On this edition, I was looking for hidden treasures for my wine cultivation and I found them in Calabria and Liguria. In today post, I will talk about about Calabria and the next one on Liguria.

Tenuta del Conte

Tenuta del Conte was the only one producer to represent all Calabria and what an amazing job they did. In a tiny stand, I was greeted warmly by the passionate Mariangela Parrilla who is involved in winemaking for the family estate.

Tenuta del Conte is a natural wine producer…yes you heard it right!!, a beautiful gem in this wine fair full of giants. Tenuta del Conte joins the other favorite producers of mine in the Ciro appellation: A Vita and Cataldo Calabretta

DOC Cirò is the main appellation of Calabria, located in the east of the region around the municipalities of Cirò, Melissa, Crucoli and the seaside resort of Cirò Marina. Created in 1969, it includes white, rosé and red wines with the main grape varieties: greco bianco and gaglioppo.

The winery is situated in the classical zone of the Ciro appellation. Francisco Parrilla founded the winery in the 1960’s with indigenous varieties gaglioppo for the red and greco bianco for the whites. They vinify as natural as possible and rarely employ external chemical treatments.
Gaglioppo heritage is Greek, after that it spread to a vast area of the Adriatic coast that goes from the Marche to Calabria. In Calabria it has many alias such as Bivongi, Cirò, Donnici, Melissa, Isola di Capo Rizzuto, etc . The Cirò Bianco is obtained from the Greco Bianco vine, also brought by the Greeks, and enters the denominations Bivongi, Cirò, Terre di Cosenza, Greeks of Bianco and Melissa.

I tasted and drank three of their wines which I found quite fascinating. The Bianco was crafted from Greco grapes was warm and inviting. Lovely nose reminiscent of white apricots, honeysuckle and Jazmin leaves. Medium body and quite refreshing with a delicate saline note in the finale.

Dallaterra Gaglioppo was warm and inviting. Aromatic bringing to mind tobacco leaf, aromatic herbs and wild berries and a touch of malted barley. Earthy with a beautiful touch of austerity. I could not keep away my enthusiasm tasting this wine. Maria suggested that it would pair perfectly with pasta con sugo alla ‘nduja, a Calabrese specialty.

The Diversamente Greco Bianco spent 24 months in stainless steel something atypical for a white wine. This was my favourite wine with a profound minerality and deep floral flavours. A bit austere, it could further age for a few years.

I really enjoyed tasting this producer and hopefully will come back for next year edition of the tasting. At the moment, they are only represented in Ontario by Golden Valley Estate