A zenith of my career? The opportunity to work with the wine industry and moderate a large international congress in Milan with experts on sustainability and viniculture and viticulture was certainly a highlight of my year (and made many people envious, I can tell you!). The SIMEI fair attracts more than 70 thousand visitors each year and is hosted by the Italian Union of Viticulture (UIV).
Italian wine has never been as much in my focus as French, but in the few hours I spent in Milan, I had managed to clock up a good bit of experience – it wasn’t just the Barolos and Amarones that turned my head, but particularly a complex and head-swingingly fresh and yet heavenly subdued white from Sicily: Planeta “Cometa” – 2012. And I was so pleased to find that I’m not the only one who loathes pro secco: the Italians I spoke to don’t even consider it drinkable – the Cantine Ferrari we tried with the antipasti (omg) was wonderful: the right harsh bubbles and squeaky clean dry taste.
Anyhow – good to focus on one specific part of agriculture in considering the potential to increase sustainability. And I also learned a bit about the EU CAP post 2011, which is completely different to the unsustainable production-focus of the pre 2011 days. It was a great experience and a good conference with candid and forward-looking discussions.