Collisioni 2017 is in the books with successful concerts from Placebo and Robbie Williams, readings from poets, authors and actors, and copious amounts of wine tasted along with a new initiative this year: Progetto Food.
For me, this was my first trip, not only to Piedmont, but to Collisioni itself. What an incredible region with its vast expanse of prestigious vineyard land, dotted with town castles to indicate the various Cru of Barolo wine. At this event, there was opportunity to not only taste wine of the region, but wines of other consorzio and regions who were present to have us taste their wine. With eight days of wine tastings and winery visits, (the festival itself is four days) I came home with a little more knowledge about Italian wines than when I left.
The village of Barolo, with its 700 year round inhabitants, grows exponentially with people arriving from all over the world to participate in its cultural, gastronomical and ‘around-the-boot’ tastings of Italian wine. The Progetto Wine Project has become a permanent fixture to the festival under the direction of Ian D’Agata, who is the creative director of the wine and food entity of Collisioni. D’Agata brought in about 70 experts from different parts of the world including sommeliers, retailers, importers, directors, restaurant owners and wine writers to participate in the various tastings and winery visits. What a privilege to be included in a top-notch group of people, many of whom I consider friends.
My most favourite part of visiting any new region and participating in wine tastings is about the native grapes of Italy. I was able to add to my “collection” of grapes that I have tried: Vernaccia Nera from Serrapetrona in the Marche, the whites of Bellone, Malvasia Puntinata and Moscato di Terracina, along with the red Nero Buono from Lazio, Petite Arvine from Valle D’Aosta, and Ortrugo from Emilia-Romagna, just to name a few. Of course, there were the classics of the region like Barolo, Barbaresco from the Nebbiolo grape, as well as Dolcetto, Barbera, Arneis and Favorita. In the end, it amounted to well over 250 wines tasted between informative panel discussions and winery tastings/visits. To also taste the local cuisine of Piemonte is almost a requirement as the vast array of dishes are bound to be served at least once a day!
Collisioni is surely a wino and foodie dream come true, and to be a part of such an event was a remarkable experience, but in order for it to be remarkable, it must be shared with like-minded professionals and those with whom I am honored to call “friends”! Salute!