Slow Food ise a concept that in a relatively short period of time has rallied people on a global scale. It now has over 150,000 active members and includes 2000 food communities in one hundred and fifty countries. Slow Food means to foster local food and customs as a alternate to industrial farming and unknown sources of agricultural products. It is a return to heritage foods, customs and recipes.
So it was only a short step to include wine in Slow Food concepts as it is an agricultural product. Nowhere did Slow Wine fit the mode of wine production more readily than in Italy. Here historically wine has been produced by the same families using local varietals that have been in vineyards for centuries.
All of this was most successfully demonstrated at the Slow Wine 2016 tasting conducted at The Taglyan Complex in Hollywood recently. Here fifty eight Italian wine owners, winemakers and sales representatives shows wines devoted to the Slow Wine concept. They ranged from Piedmont and Lombardy in the north to Sicily in the south.
For this Writer it was a marvelous opportunity to continue our recent study and tasting of Sicilian varietals that are only beginnings to show a presence in the USA. And now some of the vineyards in Sicily have become Sicila DOC, a
First booth for our inspection was Ferreri Bianco located in Santa Ninfa, Sicilia. Here we tasted a 2011 Ferreri Nero d'Avola, which is the classic red varietal in Sicily. Then the 2014 Ferreri Catarratto. This white grape also is native to Sicily and is a favorite among white wines. Two other local white varietals are Grillo and Zibibbo. In all there are forty native grape varietals.
My interest in Sicilian wines stems as a matter of heritage. My mother was born in Tribbia, Sicily, some 19 miles from Palermo. As it turned out Ferreri is located close to both Palermo and Tribbia.
Next visit was to Tasca D'Almerita which has vineyards located in three different parts of the Island. Besides wines with native varietals a new generation in the family is conducting experimentation with 51 varieties and five experimental vineyards, as part of a government backed program called VIVA devoted to a sustainable wine project.
Here we tasted Tascante 2013 Ghiaia Nera, a Nerello Mascalese red that is also Sicilia DOC.
Events like Slow Wine are often the opportunity to meet old friends, acquaintances and other wine writers. Here we had the opportunity to chat with Ron Ziff, executive director of the California Retail Liquor Dealers, Laura Lee-Chin of the North American Sommelier Association, and fellow members Ronnie Greenberg and Jill Whelan of the Southern California Restaurant Writers.
We also tasted some wines of Musita which is producing some interesting blends. One was 2013 Sicilia Passo Calcara Bianco which was a blend of Catarratto and Chardonnay. We also had to taste the 2012 Calcara Rosso which was a blend of Nero d"Avola and Syrah. Musita is a family owned winery located at Salemi.
With wineries from all parts of Italy Slow Wine proved to be a grand event. The plates of classic Italian cold meats and cheeses added to the scene that played out at the impressive Taglyan Complex. .
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