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year 22 - number 131 - july-august 2019 -




Micro-artisans vs big industries. Everything on the world of beer in Italy UNESCO RECOGNITION The hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene recognized as a world heritage site, focus on tourism

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WINE OF THE MONTH Etna fever pitch continues. Contrada Santo Spirito by Pietradolce blew us away

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RECIPES Martina Caruso, the talented chef at the helm of Hotel Signum on the island of Salina in Sicily, presents 3 signature dishes


year 22 - number 131 - july-august 2019 -




6  15   18  34   42 

Editorial News Wine of the Month How the universe of craft beer is evolving between microbreweries and industry Colline del Prosecco full throttle thanks to Unesco Recipes: Martina Caruso

Micro-artisans vs big industries. Everything on the world of beer in Italy UNESCO RECOGNITION The hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene recognized as a world heritage site, focus on tourism

WINE OF THE MONTH Etna fever pitch continues. Contrada Santo Spirito by Pi-

 etradolce blew us away

RECIPES Martina Caruso, the talented chef at the helm of Hotel Signum

 on the island of Salina in Sicily, presents 3 signature dishes






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The evolution of wine and wine producers In these weeks the Gambero Rosso taster team is at its peak of activity for the realization of the Vini d’Italia 2020 Guide, at its 33rd edition: more than 70 people, including yours truly, are visiting every corner of Italy, tasting the new wines in tasting commissions, visiting wineries and exploring territories. And this is what I’d like to talk about: wineries and terroir. In recent years some trends have become more and more firmly established. Starting with the vineyard. If the diffusion of so-called “resistant” vines is still very limited (we are still in the testing phase) the techniques of vineyard management are generally increasingly focused on sustainability. There is more awareness, and not just of those who farm organically or under biodynamic regimen. Even those who practice traditional viticulture are now more conscious of the environment, and have reduced treatments to a minimum, and now talk about biodiversity, a subject until recently reserved for only a small group of pioneers. The trend towards the rediscovery and added value of native grape varieties is unstoppable, and the new vineyards in the best companies are the result of mass selections with rootstocks calibrated to each vineyard plot. The times of searching for the best clone of each variety have faded: we are coming to a more precise, reasoned and conscious viticulture, without the senseless excess of high densities per hectare that in the past years definitely did not lead to appreciable quality improvements. If we look at the cellars, the new projects are less monumental: they tend not to leave a visible trace on the territory as in previous decades, but they are rather hidden and integrated into the landscape; by now all the wineries are aiming at saving energy: working by gravity, using local materials, and recycling as much as possible from the water. In wine cellar management, control software is increasingly sophisticated but simple to use, and often done remotely via smartphone or tablet. In the cellar, where steel still reigns supreme, cement in its most modern, non-vitrified, thermally-controlled version is making a comeback as the pride of Italy. Many less barriques, but rather chosen more carefully, while oaks of medium and larger size are in growth. If a few years ago terracotta amphorae and alternative containers were extravagant whims of small avant-garde natural wine producers, today we find them in variable percentages in many wineries. Amphora wine (modern and technological) is becoming a reality, a precious ingredient in the final cuts that the oenologist also uses in more traditional labels. The result of all this? The most elegant, balanced wines that best illustrate the territory with its most typical grapes. These, for now, are only travel notes and impressions, but in a few months we will deliver, as we do every year, a comprehensive report of every corner of our wonderful Italian Wine.. — Marco Sabellico





SPECIALTY COFFEE IN FLORENCE: THE BEST COFFEE BARS IN TOWN by Michela Becchi good, but it’s worth sitting down and tasting an excellent filter coffee, prepared with precision and care by the professional and welcoming staff. V60, chemex, cold brew, aeropress: whatever the chosen extraction system, the drink will not disappoint the most demanding palates. In addition to coffee, high attention to ingredinents is revealed in every corner of the menu, from international breakfast to lunch dishes, from American desserts (try the carrot cake combined with a fine filter coffee), plus aperitifs, with wellmixed signature cocktails based on quality distillates.



At the beginning, in the ’80s it was Piansa that opened a new path in the world of coffee just outside Florence, in the town of Bagno a Ripoli, a family business long held by Alessandro Staderini, proud heir of a company that has specialized increasingly over the years. But it was the Salento native Francesco Sanapo, who in 2014 rattled the local coffee scene. With him, specialty coffee started getting

serious, and today Florence can count on several quality points dedicated to black gold. As always, it’s impossible to draw a definitive list of valid places, considering the many new others that are coming soon: for this, the list is constantly updated and subject to constant changes.

DITTA ARTIGIANALE: TWO ADDRESSES, ONE SOUL After the success of the via De Neri local, in 2016 Sanapo doubled in Oltrarno, with another bar, bigger and even more dynamic, with a proposal suitable for every moment of the day, but always focused on coffee, the true protagonist of the coffee shop. Regardless of the location, Ditta Artigianale knows how to offer high level service in both locations, with a wide and constantly evolving coffee proposal, from the house blend to the many single origins, all roasted on the spot. The espresso is always




Born and raised with the aromas of coffee, Alessandro Staderini had to open a coffee shop in the city: in addition to roasting in Bagno a Ripoli, in fact, since 2016 Piansa also has a coffee bar in Via Gioberti, where patrons can taste an excellent blend and several single origins that change on rotation. For lovers of the genre, the place is the ideal location to taste impeccable cappuccinos, with a silky and perfectly crafted foamy top, complete with artistic Latte Art decorations, perfectly mixed and with an intense and harmonious taste. But there are also filter coffees; plus cocktails and a series of irresistible sweet and savoury options, including cakes, biscuits, homemade pasta and assorted charcuterie boards to pair with drinks during the aperitif. Dishes that reflect the flavours of the Tuscan tradition and pay homage to regional culinary richness. In the summer, cold brew dominates the scene, a perfect cold coffee extraction for the hottest days. Similar offer and same (high) level of service in the second location on via Gran Bretagna.


CARDUCCIO: VEGETABLES, FRUIT AND COFFEE Bar, bistro, and much more, the place lives by the “farm to table” principle: Carduccio gets its supplies from small local producers and transforms organic and biodynamic fruit and vegetables into smoothies, extracts, salads, cold and hot dishes for a healthy and quick lunch break without giving up on flavour. In addition, also homemade desserts, fruit salads, vegan club sandwiches and also many glutenfree proposals. In such an eclectic and modern space, there had to be a special focus on coffee: the coffee beans from Livorno roaster Le Piantagioni del Caffè are used for the wellmade espressos served at the bar.

SIMBIOSI COFFEE: ATTENTION TO ORGANIC Again Ditta Artigianale beans, but this time in via de Ginori, in the small and cozy bar entirely dedicated to specialty coffee. A tastefully decorated space that’s both informal and familiar, where skilled and attentive baristas serve with dedication ad hoc extracted espressos and fine filter coffees. The cappuccinos are excellent, the v60 filter is exquisite, clean and clear, with a broad and well-defined aromatic profile. Blends, organic single origins of different provenance compose a complex and well-studied menu, just like the wine list, with which it shares the same organic and natural philosophy. In addition to Ditta coffees, the bar is also supplied by other small local companies, such as La Sosta. Opened at the end of 2018 by Francesco Nieri, a coffee enthusiast who trained at the Sanapo school, the place is already doing well and is winning the hearts of Florentines and tourists.

MAMA’S BAKERY: AMERICAN STYLE BAKERY AND FILTER COFFEE Cakes, muffins, cupcakes and many other colorful and inviting American style specials: Mama’s Bakery is a true paradise for lovers of sweets, but also for those who can’t give up on a good cup. Apple pie, scones and gingerbread men aside, in fact, in the bar/pastry shop it’s possible to find well executed espresso and filter coffee, once again made from Le Piantagioni del Caffè beans. A roasting company that has several customers throughout Italy and that has proved capable of growing and evolving, expanding its range and reserving to all its partners all the attention and the necessary professional support.

BEN CAFFÈ, GREAT NEWS Filter coffee, espresso, Americano, cold brew, flat white plus matcha latte and many types of tea (from Le Vie del Tè) and infusions to choose from: there’s still little talk of it, but Ben Caffè presents itself as an interesting space for breakfast, with both sweet and




savory food, but also for coffee breaks or snacks. A simple, no-frills place (it’s the bar of a small 3-star hotel), with minimal decor and a huge offer: numerous single origins (once again of Le Piantagioni del Caffè) make up the coffee menu, as well as different types of loose tea. To try, when on offer is the Ethiopia washed in filter, and Yrgalem.

ADDRESSES Ditta Artigianale – Florence – via dei Neri, 30/32 r – dittaartigianale/ Ditta Artigianale Oltrarno – Florence – via dello Sprone, 5 r – dittaartigianale/ Caffetteria Piansa – Florence – via Gioberti, 51 r – CaffetteriaPiansa Gioberti/ Caffetterie Piansa Europa – Florence – via Gran Bretagna, 32 – caffetteriapiansaeuropa/ Simbiosi Coffee – Florence – via de Ginori, 64 r – SimbiosiOrganicCoffeeFirenze/ Carduccio – Florence – sdrucciolo De Pitti, 10 r – Mama’s Bakery – Florence – via della Chiesa, 34 r – Ben Caffè – Florence – via delle Oche, 7 – bencaffefirenze/



STUFFED WITH CLASSIC RAGÙ OR WITH EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA, WITH BRAISED OCTOPUS "ALLA LUCIANA" OR WITH BRACIOLE: THESE ARE THE BEST SANDWICHES IN NAPLES AND SURROUNDINGS. In traditional village festivals, in the villages of Campania holiday festivities did not begin until the Neapolitan traders hadn’t arrived : carousel people, street vendors, carnacuttari, i.e the sellers of tripe and cooked meats. The tradition of street food – which plays a huge role in Naples – has not completely disappeared, and it’s still easy to come across old-time shops and modern signs that reproduce the best of Neapolitan cuisine in take-away format.

Think sfogliatelle, little pasta frittatas, tortani rustic breads and fried pizza (or the delightful pizza al portafoglio, folded in four and eaten on the go), Naples is the kingdom of street food, but it’s still the classic sandwiches that rule this style. Sandwiches in Naples are a real institution, they are street food stars, stuffed with the best of local production. Here are the best ones in and around the city according to the Street Food del Gambero Rosso guide.

FRATELLI MASCOLO In the city of pasta, even sandwiches play a leading role: the authentic Gragnano panuozzo, to be precise, made with pizza dough and stuffed in various ways, depending on the season. Since 1995, siblings Ciro, Fiorenza and Lina Mascolo have made this local special-




ty their strong point, creating delicious and never banal recipes. The “Confit” is stuffed with sausage, black pork lard, cherry tomatoes and provola cheese, for example. The “Ron Ciccio” is filled with fried artichokes “ndurat e fritt”, pancetta, fiordilatte and a Parmigiano fondue. There is also a lot of good pizza bread, sold by weight.

PANINERIA CIRO MAZZELLA For a tasty, informal lunch, with a simple and exciting offer head to Panineria Ciro Mazzella. This is where you go to taste the famous panini, an institution since the ’70s, filled with prime quality meats. The bread is baked on a charcoal grill, toasted and crisp, stuffed with porchetta from Ariccia, scamorza cheese from Agerola and eggplant parmigiana. There are many other tasty specialties that can satisfy even the most demanding palates.


‘O CUZZETIELLO Belonging to a recipe of ancient tradition, “cafone” style bread is appreciated above all for its “cuzzetiello”, the crisp and round end part, which has been the par excellence snack for children, stuffed with sauces and leftovers. It’s indeed a play on memory put into practice by the venue located on via Rimini (and in the Vomero branch, on via Bernini), which has transformed this childhood specialty into a desired street food. Eggplant parmigiana, fried meatballs and friarielli greens, stewed “genovese” meat – a must – and braised octopus ” alla luciana” are just some of the most delicious fillings available on the menu, in addition to the special filling that rotates monthly.

PUOK BURGER STORE He rose to fame thanks to his blog “The culinary adventures of Puok and Med”, a collection of pizzas, sumptuous sandwiches, fried snacks and focaccias, all seasoned with praise to his mother, grandmothers, aunts, who made him the most famous Neapolitan blogger. But recently Egidio Cerrone has embarked on a new adventure, Puok Burger Store, a trendy sandwich shop that has two locations and which has immediately received much enthusiasm from the public. In both locations there is a long queue, but patrons are always rewarded by the deliciousness of the sandwiches overflowing with good ingredients, with the monthly special that changes constantly. To complete the picture are the ubiquitous crispy and delightful fries, in addition to the sincere and friendly smile of the staff.

TANDEM DA ASPORTO Three locations (the other two are restaurants) in the city for this place that has made Neapolitan ragù its trademark. The real one, which bubbles in pots for hours and hours before seasoning ziti or other pasta is the protagonist of the traditional Sunday lunch. In the branch dedicated to

street food, on via Mezzocannone, pasta dishes are served, but above all sandwiches, such as the cuzzetiello stuffed with ragù or braciola, meatballs, sausage or eggplant parmigiana. There’s also a vegan ragout made with vegetables only.

OASI The address to taste the real saltimbocca sandwich in Vico Equense. This is a traditional Campania region sandwich made with pizza dough, enriched with tasty fillings. Fillings include fiordilatte cheese, mortadella, provolone del monaco, dried tomatoes and roasted courgettes, and then the one with Chianina burgers, shredded burrata, bacon and eggplant. There are also rustic bites, charcuterie boards, salads and homemade desserts, all simple and delicious. A true haven of peace with priceless sea views.




ADDRESSES Fratelli Mascolo – Gragnano (NA) – piazza G. Marconi, 9 – pizzeriafratellimascolo/ Panineria Ciro Mazzella – via Panoramica, 27 – ‘O Cuzzetiello – Naples – via Rimini, 51/ via Bernini,90 – www. Puok Burger Store – Naples – via F. Cilea, 104/ piazzetta Nilo, 9 – Tandem da asporto – Naples – via Mezzocannone, 75 – Oasi – Vico Equense (NA) – via L. Serio, 5 – www.


EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IN SARDINIA: SU MOLINU IN OTTANA by Michela Becchi LOCATED IN OTTANA, IN THE PROVINCE OF NUORO IS THE BEST OLIVE GROWING COMPANY IN SARDINIA: THE STORY OF SU MOLINU. Olive oil in Sardinia comes exclusively from the olive trees growing on the manose hills of Parteolla and in Trezenta, on the granite hills of SulcisIglesiente and in the area of Montiferru, as well as in the Nuorese, which this year registered the worst performance.

OLIVE OIL IN SARDINIA Then there’s the calcareous plateau of Sassarese and the territory of Alghero, but everything falls into a single PDO “Sardegna”, which includes the bosana, tonda di Cagliari, nera di Villacidro, semidana and nera di Oliena cultivars. The quality of Sardinian olive il continues to grow, despite adverse weather conditions: production, in fact, has been rather meager, with a loss of about -60%.

SARDINIA’S BEST OLIVE OILS However, exceptional oils were also produces, such as the product of Su Molinu, a company based in Ottana, in the province of Nuoro, which was awarded the prize for the Best Quality/ Price ratio in our Oli d’Italia 2019 del Gambero Rosso guide.

SU MOLINU, YOUNG AVANT-GARDE MILL The direction is by the Zedda family, which since 2017 has dedicated itself to olive growing with commitment and a lot of study, focusing immediately on the high quality of the product. A company that has 15 hectares of olive groves with about 3,000 plants located between the countryside of Nuoro and Macomer. A painstaking work that continues even in the mill, thanks to the latest generation Mori

machine, the first similar oil mill to be installed in Sardinia.

SU MOLINU OLIVE OILS Among the oils of Su Molinu, the Gariga Isula amazes for its exceptional quality/price ratio. A medium fruity that’s balanced and has character, with aromas reminiscent of arugula, flowers, apple, mowed grass and a definite note of almond that’s green and persistent. The Gariga Ràmine Monocultivar Nera di Oliena is also excellent, with herbaceous and balsamic notes, and the Gariga Birde Monocultivar Bosana, characterized by vegetable nuances of thistle and grass and a nice tomato sensation.





OLIVE OIL RESTAURANTS Among the venues that bring value to the green gold (and more),, is a wide-ranging project that includes a wine shop, a grocery store, a delicatessen, a bookstore and a wine bar, with a simple and well-made cuisine based on local and high-quality products. Then there is Il Rifugio in Nuoro, a trattoria opened in the 1980s that offers a traditional and seasonal menu, and Sabores formaggi e vini, an interesting bistro where you can enjoy all the best of Sardinian gastronomy, meats and cheeses in the first place, accompanied with excellent glasses of local wines.

OLIVE OIL SHOPPING To buy good bottles of olive oil, head to Bonu in Cagliari, a shop of delights where gourmands can find niche specialties of all kinds, including olive oils. And then, in Sassari there’s Sale & Pepe, a typical delicatessen with a kitchen where you can buy local products and stop for an aperitif or an informal dinner with traditional dishes.



Su Molinu – Ottana (NU) Artigianale Iotto, 35 –


WHERE TO EAT – Cagliari piazza Galileo Galilei, 1 Il Rifugio – Nuoro – via Antonio Mereu, 28 – Sabores formaggi e vini – Cagliari – via Lodovico Baylle, 6 –




Bonu – Cagliari – viale Diaz, 162 – Sale&Pepe – Sassari – via Zanfarino, 38a –

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The first quarter of the year is usually the one that represents the smallest share of the agri-food GDP (8%). And on the whole, the year for the agricultural sector opened with + 0.1% added value compared to the previous year. Employment increased (+ 5.3%) while the number of businesses has diminished (– 0.7% to 742,000 units). Younger businesses at the end of March were 53,400 (+ 2.1% on a year) and the phenomenon of growth is evolving, Ismea informs in its Agrosserva report. There is, in any case, more optimism among farmers: the confidence index grew by 2.4 points on an annual basis, following a positive trend that began in the second half of 2017. The food industry grows and there are signs of a production recovery: + 1.3% of the index on 2018 compared to 0.8% of the manufacturing industry as a whole. A trend that is also reflected in agri-food exports, with the first quarter of 2019 which, thanks to an increase of 5.3%, reaches €10.5 billion. Wine, in this context, conditioned by contrasting elements at a global level, rose again compared to 2018, selling out with 4.9 million hectoliters (+ 8% on year). Despite an increase in values (+ 4%), according to Ismea analysts, this is not a particularly positive number, given it derives from a general decline in prices, especially for bulk wines. For bottled wine, the decline is more limited. But it can be said, in general, that the increase in export volumes and the increase in consumption in Gdo (+ 3%) "probably will not be sufficient to absorb the increase in availability”. The record harvest of 2018, in fact, has reached total volumes of 55 million hectoliters (+ 29% compared to 2017) and it's difficult to place all the product on the market. Considering still wines, the quarter has breached 2.5 million hectoliters of exports (+ 6%): US demand is down (–2%), the German one is up 13% and the United Kingdom's (with values at + 31%). The rush to buy and stock up is linked to uncertainties connected to Brexit.







A guide to the best extra virgin olive oil


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More than 70 experts spent months doing tastings nt monthswine. doingblind blind tastings e Italian in every region of Italy 2360 producers

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Chinese Italian EDITIONS German Chinese Japanese English Italian Chinese Japanese German English apanese Chinese German




Japanese Japanese 2530 PRODUCERS

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07/03/14 12.58

Now wine is even tempting Coca Cola. The news is going around the world, from Australia (with the rumors reported by the Australian paper) to England (taken up by the magazine Drink Business), but there are no confirmations yet. According to initial rumors, the landing of the American giant ($31 billion turnover), in the world of wine would only be a matter of time and the gateway could be Pernod Ricard, which would have already indicated its intention to sell some of its brands, such as Jacobs Creek (Barosca Valley), and other labels including Brancott Estate, Kenwood and Campo Viejo. A $500 million package that the Atlanta group wouldn't mind. Pushing forward, specifically, is Coca Cola Amatil, a subsidiary of Coca Cola, which could join forces with the private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to take hold of the Pernod Ricard wine business. But, in this case it will have to deal with the extremely aggressive Carlyle Group, which already owns Accolade Wines. However, none of the companies in question confirmed negotiations. In the latest financial communication, Alexandre Ricard (CEO of the group) stressed that "he does not comment on the market rumors, but that the Group regularly assesses every available opportunity: tactical acquisitions, such as the recent one concerning the Italian Malfy gin, or the sale of brands, according to criteria that these continue to create value for the business". If the operation really were to really move ahead, it would be the first Coca Cola incursion in the wine sector (the only precedent in the world of spirits was the launch, a year ago, of an "alcopop" drink flavoured with fruit in Japan): on the other hand, the global health pressures would push in this direction. And there are those who are already ready to bet on the success of the "new bubbles" crafted by Coca Cola.

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ETNA ROSSO CONTRADA SANTO SPIRITO 2016 PIETRADOLCE SS120, 174, Contrada Rampante, Castiglione di Sicilia (CT) Retail price: 37 euros The re-tasting of this Etna Rosso simply blew us away. In the glass, Santo Spirito possesses out of the ordinary sensuality, it's the most floral of the Etna "contrade" disticts, fresh and pure, slightly balsamic. It conceals a sense of balance that very in contrast with the restlessness of the volcano; the Nerello tannin grain reaches its peak in terms of fineness, then the spices arrive, the finish is graceful, very long, delicately smoked. This wine is the product of a 4-hectare vineyard located at an altitude of 850 meters above sea level, half of which is pre-phylloxera, one of the coolest areas of Etna, with cold winds that blow directly from the main crater. The color is bright and luminous, in the glass the aromas are airy, refreshing, whispered, one of the greatest Etna we tasted in recent years. And the 2017 vintage also bodes very, very well. Consider booking a visit to Michele Faro's new winery, in Solicchiata, on the northern slope of Mount Etna, a minimalistic and elegant structure, with many works of art by local artists, a biodiversity garden and large windows overlooking the vineyards, and the Monti Nebrodi for an extremely evocative landscape. Ten years later, after Mario and Michele Faro’s winery debut, we can confidently say that Pietradolce is one of this ultra-competitive area’s top producers. Since then the bond between Faro and Etna has continued to deepen, thanks to the purchase of a couple historic vineyards in the best contrade districts. These are vinified separately thus producing wines that are elegant varietal and that exhibit strong territorial identity.





Gran Biscotto, pizza challenge on TV Civitiello wins with his “pupil” Gran Biscotto Rovagnati, pizza and slices challenge. The contest that aired on Gambero Rosso Channel saw a heated challenge between six pizza chefs selected by the Max Mariola European tour. The six contestants, along with their tutors––all internationally famous pizza makers––engaged in the creation of pies that gave value to the main ingredient, Gran Biscotto ham. With heats of two-on-two chal-

in London; the young Francesco Carotenuto flanked by tutor Enrico Coppola who took him to Switzerland at his Italian pizzeria Luigia in Zurich; Ettore Catone, Neapolitan pizza maker for passion, alongside tutor Daniele D’Orta, brilliant Italian pizza maker in Monaco; Vincenzo Beneduce at the ovens of the family pizzeria in Somma Vesuviana (NA) “trained” by Davide Civitiello, a famous name among Neapolitan

lenges, the six came to the finals. These were: Giovan Battista Cicchella, pizza maker at the pizzeria Villa Alba in Santa Maria a Vico (CE) together with Ciro Salvo; Maurizio Paterno, in force at Eccellenze Campane (Naples) with the support of Nicola Iovine, thanks to his success in Paris; Francesco Gentile, just out of 800 Napoletano and now leaving for Madrid, with his tutor Ivan Simeoli successful pizza maker based








1. The winner, Vincenzo Beneduce awarded by Signora Rovagnati: the award is a Chef Tech Pro course 2. the winning pie: eggplant parmigiana, confit cherry tomatoes, basil and thinly sliced Gran Biscotto ham 3. The jury (from left, Igles Corelli, President of the jury Claudia Rovagnati and Stefano Polacchi)

4. The winner with his tutor Davide Civitiello 5. Francesco Carotenuto with his tutor Enrico Coppola 6. Francecsco Gentile with his tutor Ivan Simeoli 7. Ettore Catone with his tutor Daniele D’Orta 8. Giovan Battista Cicchella with his tutor Ciro Salvo 9. Maurizio Paterno with his tutor Nicola Iovine

use of the ham, which in many family versions of parmigiana is an often used ingredient. The prize was a professional course at Chef Tech Pro, where participants learn to use the most modern kitchen technology. “It’s evident, and this contest proves it––says Igles Corelli––that pizza toppings are becoming more elaborate and therefore require culinary and gastronomic training, concentrating skills specifically on pizza».

technical ability and the high level of the ingredients used. In the end the winning element was the consideration of the harmony between the different ingredients, the enjoyment of the pizza, the fragrance of the dough and its reaction to cooking, the ease in consuming it. The winning pizza combined a fresh eggplant parmigiana with confit tomatoes and Gran Biscotto ham: very summery and traditional also in the

pizza makers in New York. It was precisely Bendeuce, in the direct elimination with colleague Carotenuto, who won the prize, elected by a jury composed by chef and director of Chef Tech Pro at the Gambero Rosso Academy Igles Corelli, by Gambero Rosso editor in chief Stefano Polacchi and chaired by Signora Claudia Rovagnati. The choice was the result of a difficult evaluation, given the high 4










HOW THE UNIVERSE OF CRAFT BEER IS EVOLVING BETWEEN MICROBREWERIES AND INDUSTRY Italian craft beer is less than 30 years old, a new wave that follows the Italian approach to beer started in the country’s industrial plants in the mid-1800s. In recent times, with the acquisition of Birrificio del Borgo by the multinational giant AbInbev, however, that cycle comes full circle with the arrival of large investments. What happened in the meantime? And mostly, what will the future be like? Will craft beer still exist? And how will it be?

Words by Giuseppe Carrus and William Pregentelli Photos by Giovanni Tagini



2 April 2016: the fox is in the chicken coop. Paraphrasing the words of Jean Van Roy, owner of Cantillon, one of the world’s best known independent Belgian brewers, to describe a date that marked a before and after in the world of Italian beer: AbInbev multinational that produces more than 30% of the world’s beer and boasting over 500 brands (Beck’s, Budweiser, Corona, Hoegarden, Leffe, Löwenbräu just to name the most popular) in more than 100 countries, acquired one of the most important Italian craft breweries, Birra del Borgo, brainchild of Leonardo Di Vincenzo. To better understand what we’re talking about, however, it’s important to take a step back to the ‘90s brave forerunners began producing Italy’s first craft beers, becoming the national flag bearers of that craft revolution that had begun in the States United in the late 1970s. THE PIONEERS OF CRAFT BEER IN ITALY Beyond some unfortunate experiments that were really too ahead of their time, conventionally the beginning of the artisan beer movement is noted as 1996, when breweries were first emerging and which brought a boost of novelty, thanks to brands that are still to this day riding the wave of success: Baladin in Piozzo (Cuneo), Beba in Villar Perosa (Turin), Birrificio Italiano in Lurago Marinone (Como), Lambrate Brewery in Milan, which were all slightly preceded by the Turbacci Brewery in Mentana (Rome). From that moment on, craft beer has virtually exploded: the number of breweries grew dramatically and today there are more than a thousand producers, also considering beer firms (producers who rely on other breweries’ facilities). «The craft beer sector has recently experienced a boom,» explains Michele Cason, President of Assobirra, an association that protects Italian beer and malt producers (artisan and industrial) - After the birth throughout the entire coun-

try of new entreprises that for the most part were young, today there are 862 microbreweries, with a production of 504,000 hectoliters. The organizations surveyed from Northern to Southern Italy employ 3,000 employees and are divided into craft breweries (692) and brew pubs (170)». Of course, from a consumption point of view craft beer is still in a niche: 3.1%. Everything else, that huge 97%, is the prerogative of the beer industry. CRAFT BEER VS. INDUSTRIAL. DIFFERENCES AND LAWS But what do industrial beer and craft beer actually mean? To distinguish the two things, a law issued on July 6th, 2016 comes to our aid: “Craft beer is defined as beer produced by small independent breweries and not subjected to pasteurization and microfiltration processes during the production phase [... ] A small independent brewery is a brewery that is legally and economically independent of any other brewery [...] and





5 POINTS THAT SIGNAL THE CHANGE IN PUBS THANKS TO THE SURGE IN CRAFT BEER With the definitive explosion of the brewing movement, the “shape” of pubs has gradually changed, finally detaching itself from ancient and limiting clichés.

1 Decor If a few decades ago pubs were inspired by foreign countries with a strong brewing vocation, many of today’s pubs have their own identity, refer to well-defined architectural styles and are more comfortable

2 Food As was to be expected, a leveling upwards of the beer was accompanied by one relating to the food offer.

3 Publican Those who work behind the scenes today must be increas-

ingly technically prepared and know how to dispense culture to customers; furthermore, these must be kept constantly updated.

4 Selection Beer menus, especially at the top, have improved in terms of quality and quantity. The facility is in many cases owned, no longer loaned by the distributor

5 Clientèle The average customer has become much more curious, reads more and is more used to new things. – Andrea Docimo, engineer and brew critic

whose annual production does not exceed 200,000 hectoliters...”. If the latter concept of a purely quantitative order is simple to understand (and also quite difficult to achieve for Italian craft breweries: the largest, Armarcord di Apecchio, in the Marche, produces “just” 40,000 hectoliters), a little less understandable for non-experts are the other two fundamental points of this law; the first concerns independence: if the brewery belongs to another brewery, then the former will not be artisanal (which is why Birra del Borgo can no longer be considered artisanal). The second concept concerns two production processes: if microfiltration and/or pasteurization take place (actions aimed at giving greater microbiological stability to beer, one physical, the other thermal), then the brewery cannot be considered artisanal. «The law on craft beer has clearly defined the prerequisites necessary to be able to carry this denomination – explains Vittorio Ferraris, direc-




tor of Unionbirrai, the trade association of small independent breweries – To support this, the Mipaaft-Icqrf (organ of the Ministry of Consumer Protection) has signed a collaboration agreement with our Association to define the methods of control and intervention in the event of improper use. There’s constant supervision and also support by institutional bodies. Unfortunately the law has not clearly established a number of technical requirements (for example “microfiltration”) that can leave room for subjective interpretations». And he continues: «We can’t deny that for us the most important aspects concern the size of the company and its economic-legal independence from the world of the beer industry. These being unanimously recognized requirements also at international level». Michele Cason, however, emphasizes an equally important aspect: «The law on craft beer identifies a type of beer, defining the producers who must be independent and produce less than 200,000 hectoliters a year, plus defining the product that cannot be pasteurized or micro-filtered, whose vitality is therefore preserved. However, this definition is still little known today. From the research of AstraRicerche institute - “Italians and Beer” what emerges is that only 40% of consumers attribute the correct characteristics to craft beer, while for the majority of the interviewed subjects, craft beer is produced with local quality ingredients, characteristics that are often true, but certainly not exclusive. It’s therefore desirable to have more information so that consumers can make more informed choices». Why the need for a law that created this clear distinction? To understand this, we need to take a further step back. THE BEER INDUSTRY Heineken, Carlsberg, Guinness, Corona; but also Peroni, Poretti, Moretti, Ichnusa: these are just some of the brands that you can find in the beer section of any supermarket, or in any bar, pizzeria or pub. All these brands, which often market strong territorial identities, refer to gigantic multinationals that developed over the last century, some 


even have their roots in the 19th century. First we mentioned AbInbev: by their very definition they are “the largest brewery in the world”. It produces 31.4% of the world’s beer (source Barth Report 2018) and has achieved these incredible numbers merger after merger, acquisition after acquisition: Anheuser-Busch, an American brewery founded in 1852 in Missouri, merged with Inbev in 2008, itself the result of the merger between the Belgian group Interbrew (which in the meantime had purchased Labbat, Canada, and Beck’s, Germany) and Ambev, a Brazilian group born from the merger of the country’s two largest producers, Antarctica and Brahma. The final act (for now) took place in 2016, when it also acquired what at the time was the second world group for beer production, Sab-Miller. Meanwhile, the giant also reaped among the craft breweries: in the now distant 2011 the acquisition of one of the main actors of the American craft revolution, Goose Island, caused a sensation; then it was the turn of 10 Barrel, Elysian, Breckenridge, Four Peaks, Wicked Weed in the USA; Camden Brewery in the UK, Boostels in Belgium, Birra del Borgo in Italy as we mentioned, Boxing Cat in China and many others around the world. Obviously AbInbev is not the only giant on the market: in second place, but very far from the pole position, is Heineken (born in 1873) is among the world’s producers, with its 11.2% divided between various brands such as Amstel, Affligem, Murphy’s, and in Italy, Dreher (already since 1974), Moretti, Von Wuster, Prinz, Ichnusa, recently Birra Messina, without forgetting the acquisition of an Italian craft brewery, Hibu (MB) through the subsidiary Dibevit. Third place is occupied by a large Chinese group, China Resources Snow Breweries Ltd. which produces the world’s best-selling beer, Snow. Fourth place is held by another wellknown brand: Carlsberg (1874) known in Italy also through the Tuborg, Grimbergen, but above all Poretti brands. In fifth place we find Molson Coors, a very active group

on the US and Canadian markets but which did not miss the opportunity to acquire several craft breweries including Trou du Diable in Canada and Birradamare in Italy. The Barth Report 2018 shows a last interesting fact: the top 40 brewing companies in the ranking produce 88.3% of the world’s beer. The rest, a small 11.7% is in the hands of other groups or industrial breweries and artisanal microbreweries: this is enough to understand the marketing and marketing strength of a multinational company that gets to play its cards on the craft sector. CRAFT VS. INDUSTRIAL «The most important among the trends that characterized the last decade of Italian craft beer one is undoubtedly represented by the invasion of the industry in the craft sector - says Andrea Turco, creator of one of the most popular thematic blogs, Cronache di Birra - the phenomenon has materialized with two parallel strategies: to enter the market with





THE OPINION OF EXPERTS IL PIONIERE From its origins, craft beer has changed completely, having become convinced, in the wake of the great and rapid expansion that has taken place over the last twenty years, that from a grand should become “industrial”, thus losing its roots. In the meantime, industry has realized that to win over a rapidly changing public it should have started to produce beers similar as much as possible to craft; causing an overall distortion and great confusion. The industry makes beer, artisans make craft beer. It is important to be able to maintain the perception that these are different products. And this diversity, as well as sensory, lives on a consistent ideological part! Working on the small, working not only for profit, working with ingenuity and discovery, with love for the product and for the world and the people who gravitate around it, are all key aspects of craftsmanship as we understand it. Ideology, if we want “poetry”, is necessary and natural because craft beer is a product with a high content of passion. – Agostino Arioli, Birrificio Italiano

industrial products disguised as artisanal, the so-called “crafty” beers (ed: see the various Regional Moretti or Poretti’s hops series just to mention two examples) and acquire control of craft breweries. In a few months we had to collect the sale to multinationals of important brands such as Birra del Borgo (AbInbev), Birrificio del Ducato (Duvel Moortgat), Birradamare (Molson Coors) and Hibu (Dibevit, Heineken group). Clearly these operations seriously jeopardize the survival of the entire sector, because suddenly some brands find themselves enjoying the boundless power of the industry, upsetting the balance of a field that is still relatively young and certainly very fragile». And perhaps it’s no coincidence that, shortly after the acquisition, Birra del Borgo opened its first flagship restaurant in Rome, Osteria di Birra del Borgo, followed by two other restaurants in Rome, as well as Birradamare launched into Na Biretta Social Club project, always in Rome and al ways after the acquisition.

THE BLOGGER Since I have been managing Cronache di Birra, Italian craft beer has changed. The tastes of consumers have changed, the way breweries propose themselves on the market, the format of the theme events. Even the pub has lost its traditional connotations to reinvent itself in a new and different way, just as the methods of administration have changed. In more general terms craft beer has gone beyond the confines of the limited circle of enthusiasts to become a concept of public domain, if not a fashion. It has entered places and contexts previously considered very distant, fueling much enthusiasm but also some contradictions. Probably the future of Italian craft beer will be characterized by a reduction in the number of microbreweries operating in the sector and by a consolidation of those with greater resources. The distribution will be more “sustainable” and will focus on the development of communities of local consumers, also thanks to the diffusion of tap rooms (local breweries). It will be an increasingly competitive market, to emerge in which it will be essential to stand out from the competition and start with clear projects, as well as produce good beer. – Andrea Turco, Cronache di Birra THE GUIDE Although the problem of Italian craft beer is primarily the consequence of a new and more aggressive presence of industry on the Italian market, there is no doubt that a very fragmented system that is not always inclined to move collectively does not help. The craft beer movement should return to investing most of its energy in information and training, in breweries, pubs, obviously in specialized courses, but also in all those more pop places (maybe even supermarkets) where it is easier to meet those sections of the public that are more distant and less interested in the subject but which are fundamental to grow and consolidate. It is only by fighting the communication made of empty slogans that one can sow in the long run and really change the deep perception that Italy has of beer – Luca Giaccone and Eugenio Signoroni, Birre d’Italia di Slow Food 





«There are two terms that best describe the state of Italian beer today: maturity and confusion - declared Luca Giaccone and Eugenio Signoroni, curators of Slow Food’s guide to Italian beers - Italian producers have consolidated their role over the years and built a strong identity that allowed them to become popular with an increasingly wider public, inside and outside of Italy. Beers that have achieved very high levels of creativity and reliability have helped us along this path. At the same time, however, above all due to an increasingly intrusive position of the brewing industry which, through acquisitions, crafty products and marketing campaigns which borrowed the craft movement’s key words, what the public finds when first approaching beer is much more complex, multifaceted, tangled and insidious than it was only five years ago». Discredited with apostasy, betrayal of the cause, the ex-artisan breweries were immediately seen as enemies by a whole niche of consumers and workers involved in craftsmanship supporters: excluded from the main trade fairs and festivals (the words of Jean Van Roy with whom we opened referred to the desire not to involve Borgo al Quintessence, one of the most important European beer festivals), ostracized by some pubs and clubs, these breweries were seen as the germ of a dangerous counteroffensive in the brewing industry which, especially in the United States, was losing market share in favour of microbreweries. The fear of those who defend craft beer does not arise simply from being entrenched in an ideology or by exalting the concept of independence, but rather by fear and the risk that in the coming years we will return to the situation that gave rise to the craft revolution in the first place: a total flattening of tastes in favour of anonymous beers, all blonde, all the same, all banal. «There’s been a great popular movement contrary to all this, especially among experts who’ve tried to bring attention to the final customer for whom an acquired brewery is not very different from one that is not - explains Manuele Colonna,

publican among the best known in Italy, on the side of craftsmanship - I believe, and I am not the only one, that this strategy of acquisitions can be dangerous above all for small companies that are unable to withstand the overbearing entry of pseudo-craft products made by multinationals». Michele Cason is not of the same opinion, for whom these market movements can also prove to be something positive: «Profitably managing a company in Italy today is extremely complex and difficult and this is also true in the brewing sector. The numbers speak for themselves: there are many, too many companies forced to close because they are overwhelmed by issues and problems. In this difficult context, or to revive their business, some have sought allies. In some cases, microbreweries were acquired by larger breweries, thus losing the ability to define their own “artisan” product, in other cases there were trade agreements. These acquisitions are not a problem but an opportunity for development and AssoBirra has experienced these dynamics





in the past in its 112 years of history. The real problem is instead the reason why it’s so difficult to do business in Italy». But something, according to Manuele Colonna, is changing: «Fortunately, be it for the self-destructive abilities of our sector – and I’m referring above all to the distortion of beer, produced more and more often with strange ingredients when not downright crazy, pushed to the extreme, full of artificial ingredients – or for the aforementioned revolt and for the protection law on craft beers pushed by Unionbirrai, these operations have not proved so successful. Thus acquisitions are gradually decreasing all over the world». This opinion is also shared by Agostino Arioli, brewer of the Birrificio Italiano, precursor of the Italian craft sector: «The first acquisitions triggered a wave of purchases, in which the macro-players of the beer world launched a wild shopping spree in the ranks of the craft universe; but this has already ended. I believe that the multinational giants that have bought artisan realities, perhaps to 

THE BEER-WRITER I believe that the beer market in Italy has never changed so much and so quickly as in the last twenty years. While on the one hand the overabundance of the offer is exciting, on the other hand, in my opinion, it signals a critical aspect of the sector that appears to be increasingly complex and chaotic, a sector where the protagonists seem more taken by anxiety to pursue the new trends that appear between the most passionate consumers rather than working on brand identity, on extended communication (not only in the sector), on investments in marketing and advertising. It seems to me that in the face of an increase in numbers and, on average, also in quality, the way of operating the craft has remained the same. Of course, the acquisitions of the multinationals have created havoc but I am convinced that the greatest difficulties for Italian micro-companies come from the competition of other micro-Europeans and Americans who have entered our market. Often “micro” that have an appeal, even economic, and a stronger identity that cannot be summed up only in the non-pasteurization or in the greater character of a craft beer compared to an industrial lager. – Maurizio Maestrelli, columnist and taster THE ARTISANAL I believe that the beer market in Italy has never changed so much and so quickly as in the last twenty years. While on the one hand the overabundance of the offer is exciting, on the other hand, in my opinion, it signals a critical aspect of the sector that appears to be increasingly complex and chaotic, a sector where the protagonists seem more taken by anxiety to pursue the new trends that appear between the most passionate consumers rather than working on brand identity, on extended communication (not only in the sector), on investments in marketing and advertising. It seems to me that in the face of an increase in numbers and, on average, also in quality, the way of operating the craft has remained the same. Of course, the acquisitions of the multinationals have created havoc but I am convinced that the greatest difficulties for Italian micro-companies come from the competition of other micro-Europeans and Americans who have entered our market. Often “micro” that have an appeal, even economic, and a stronger identity that cannot be summed up only in the non-pasteurization or in the greater character of a craft beer compared to an industrial lager – Vittorio Ferraris, Director of Unionbirrai THE PUBLICAN The moment is delicate. There is a decline in general interest, due to a certain extreme that involves taste, prices, aggressive narketing and unfortunately, often, even lack of professionalism in the supply chain: from the brewer, to the distributor, to the publican. It’s essential for every actor in this industry to confront others, to travel, to gather information. This often doesn’t happen and the end customer lacks the supporting columns on which to build and expand a possible initial interest. Craft beer is totally different from the industrial one: it must be talked about and supported, which happens less and less as people who are not attentive to the product enter the market, attracted only by the growing market. There is a manic search for the new names to offer, when instead today it’s hard to find a new brewery that makes the difference in the midst of a sea of copies, and breweries without personalities that follow only the latest market trends. The movement must compact, grow in personality and marketing: only in this way can it survive and bring the best elements to a lasting success. – Manuele Colonna, owner of Ma che siete venuti a fa’ in Rome





legitimize themselves in the eyes of inexperienced consumers, have now regretted making that move because of the limited profitability (or negative profitability) of said operations. The era of capital gains and multimillion-dollar purchases is over, those who will sell from now on will no longer be acquired for the brand but for their actual production capacities (dimensions, volumes, facilities, technologies, etc.). And which will be acquired at cost price». And he adds: «The acquisition was not a trigger for changes on the market but rather a result of the changes themselves; due to a general industry orientation to appropriate market shares typical of craft beer. I believe that the invasion of crafty products, available on every shelf, that have strongly capitalized on the taste and buying preferences of the daily consumer has been more relevant in this sense». ITALIAN INDUSTRIAL BEER Moretti, Moretti, Poretti, Ichnusa, Dreher: we have already said that they are Italian brands in the hands of multinationals. We have not yet mentioned Peroni, which is owned by the Japanese group Asahi. But, in addition to the artisan microbreweries, do any authentic Italian brands still exist? Yes, more than one and all in great shape. Like Birra Forst, one of Italy’s largest breweries. In spite of the German name for Foresta - a fraction of Lagundo, just outside Merano (BZ) where the brewery was founded in 1857 - the company has always been all Italian and is also the owner of the Menabrea brewery in Biella. Today, Margherita Fuchs von Mannstein is at the helm: «The company has been in the hands of our family for five generations and over the years has become one of the most important breweries in Italy, which has always been characterized by attention to the highest quality of its brewing specialties respecting nature and traditions». But, apart from independence, what is the difference with a brewery owned by a multinational company? «There are different factors of differentiation. At the base there is a way to

LESS EXCISE DUTY (TAXES) FOR SMALL BREWERS In Italy, legislation relating to beer dates back to law n.1354 of August 16th, 1962: despite numerous modifications, those are still the guidelines that govern production. The categories provided by law are the following:  non-alcoholic beer: Plato grade between 3 and 8; alcohol content not exceeding 1.2%  light beer: Plato grade between 5 and 10.5; alcohol content between 1.2% and 3.5%  beer: Plato grade above 10.5; alcohol content over 3.5%  special beer: Plato grade not inferior to 12.5  double malt beer: Plato grade not inferior to 14.5 The Plato grade (in broad terms) measures the density of sugar in the must and represents the parameter on which the excise duties on beer production, multiplied by the hectoliters produced, are calculated. This type of taxation in Italy does not involve wine. In recent years, however, something has changed: we have already mentioned the law that defines craft beer (the labeling was strictly forbidden and sanctioned before it was issued); but above all the tax burden on beer has dropped. Minister Tria’s signature dates back to this last June 5 to the decree that implements the provisions of the 2019 Budget law: excise duties on beer will be reduced by one cent (from 3.00 euro to 2.99 euro), while for small craft breweries that do not exceed 10,000 hectoliters per year, the decrease will be 40%. Will this also lead to a decrease in the price to the consumer? Certainly not, but small producers will have the possibility of reinvesting these sums for the growth of their business (or at least we hope).





approach the completely different product. In our case we are characterized by a purist approach in the art of brewing with great attention to detail that is the fruit of the work of generations of our family». Martino Zanetti, owner of the Theresianer brewery in Nervesa della Battaglia, in the province of Treviso, also emphasizes family: «The presence of a family property has given us clear principles represented by quality, tradition and organizational contemporaneity and this is what we communicate to our customers. I ventured into a challenging and competitive world that demands discipline and creativity at the same time». Febo Leondini, Managing Director of Birra Castello, another independent Italian brewery, born in 1997 and also owner of the Pedavena and Dolomiti brands, indicates the relationship with the customer as the main difference: «The main difference compared to a brewery entered into the orbit of a multinational company is the relationship established be-

tween the customer and direct ownership of the company. It’s a direct dialogue between entrepreneurs who reason with similar logics and, therefore, who can understand each other much more easily and quickly than what happens when the counterpart is hinged in a multilevel organizational structure». What is certain is that the birth of craft breweries has shaken the whole sector: «The artisan brands have contributed to making this world more interesting, increasing its value and creating new consumption opportunities where beer was only marginally present - underlines the lady Fuchs von Mannstein - The arrival on the market of these actors has also given impetus to industry in the area of innovation and assortment structure». Leondini echoes: «There is great respect for these microbreweries that have undoubtedly contributed, in different forms, to spreading the beer culture in our country». It is also true that craft breweries are not their main competitors: «In different seg- 






+4,7 % 2017


9°PLACE IN UE export



0 .0 10 .4

4.000 8 6 . 9 1

hl 2017

9.000 1 3 . 0 2



33,6 lt

+6,6 %

CRAFT BEER 504.000 hl +4,3% 2017


140.700 31%

+3,4 %




69% source: Annual report Assobirra 2018






1829 – in Brescia Franz 1857 – in Lagundo Xavier Wührer establishes (BZ) Birra Forst is born the first brewery in Italy

1846 – in Vigevano (PV) Birra Peroni is born, while in Biella Birrificio Menabrea is born

1859 – in Udine Birra Moretti is born

1974 – Dreher is the first Italian brewery to be acquired by a multinational, Heineken 1897 – in Padavena (BL) Birrificio Padavena is born

1870 –Dreher brewery opens in Trieste

1991 – Forst acquires Menabrea

1912 – Birra Ichnusa is born in Cagliari

1988 – the Peroni Group acquires Wührer

1877 – in Induno Olona (VA) Birrificio Angelo Poretti is born




ments, and with different logics - continues Leondini - our product portfolio stands as a viable alternative for the consumer both with regard to large industry and craft breweries». While Manetti reinforces the concept: «In Italy, the general public seems inclined to divide the market in a Manichaean way by putting artisan realities on one side and industrial ones on the other. Unfortunately there is no knowledge, perhaps it would be better to say awareness, of a third way represented by realities like ours with the features we mentioned earlier. There is a category of breweries that cannot be defined as artisanal, but at the same time they do not have such volumes that they are among the industrial ones, realities like ours, independent and devoted to the continuous search for improvement». «I am sure that independence is an incredible plus - concludes Fuchs von Mannstein - because today in the food industry there is a growing sensitivity, there is attention to detail, to the history of the product, to its

1986 – Ichnusa joins the Heineken group




origin, to the quality and to the authenticity as well as its sustainability: and realities like ours can offer all this». PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF ITALIAN ARTISAN BEER If we take the aforementioned date of 1996, to sanction the birth of the Italian craft movement, we realize that just over twenty years have passed since the first craft beers in Italy. Some of these are produced, even today, by companies that give a strong boost to the sector. However, in the 2000s many companies flourished in our country, through brewers driven by great passion and the desire to establish themselves on the market. All aim at a very high quality, one of the fundamental points to be able to find one’s own space, but the results do not always arrive: making beer is difficult, making it in the traditional way is even more so and, removed some model companies, not al-


1995 – in Mentana (RM) one of Italy’s first craft breweries is born, Birrificio Turbacci






1996 – the first craft breweries are born: Baladin in Piozzo (CN), Beba in Villar Perosa (TO). Birrificio Italiano in Lurago Marinone (CO), Birrificio Lambrate in Milan 1996 – Heineken acquires Birra Noretti 2002 – he Danish group Carlsberg busy 100% of Poretti

1997 – Birra Castello is born in San Giorgio di Nogaro (UD) 2000 – Martino Zanetti (Hausbrandt) opens Theresianer in Nervesa della Battaglia (TV)

2003 – The SabMiller group acquires Peroni

2011 – AbInBev acquires Goose Island: the first craft brewery in the hands of a multinational; Peroni passes in the hands of the Japanese group Asahi

2004 – craft brewery Birradamare is born in Fiumicino (RM)

2016 – AbInBev acquires Birra del Borgo, first Italian craft brewery acquired by a multinational

2005 – craft brewery Birra del Borgo opens in Borgorose (RI) 2006 – Birra Castello takes over Pedavena brewery 2007 – craft brewery Birrificio del Ducato is born in Roncole Verdi (PR); craft brewery Hubu is born in Burago di Molgora (MB)


2017 – Molson Coors acquires the craft brewery Birradamare; the Belgian groupDuvel Moortgat acquires Birrificio del Ducato; Dibevit, controlled by Heineken, acquires Hibu

2010 ways you can drink something really well done. Then there are many other aspects that many still take little account of. When you produce something, you also need to know how to sell it, you have to create a sales network, you need to know how to best communicate your product: so many breweries were born from the passion of homebrewers who, after years of experimentation at home (albeit with very high results) have moved to production official, but sometimes neglecting the communication and commercial aspect. «The references were the Belgian and Anglo-Saxon styles, especially for brewpubs, but apart from some virtuous examples where there was so much quality, there was a lot of improvisation, much and bad hops and different products were questionable - according to Nicola Utzeri, founder of Fermento Birra, a magazine that was initially online (since 2007), then turned to print (2012) and immediately referring to the sector - Fortu-




nately, the IPA phenomenon (one of the first styles taken into strong consideration by the Italian movement) has grown and gradually the beers on the market have become more precise, clean, balanced and of excellent drinkability. Now there are many styles produced, but in addition to borrowing pre-existing styles, all-Italian tendencies were born, very often linked to the territory». One of the pioneers of a style hitherto unknown was Nicola Perra who first produced and marketed a beer that met the world of wine. 13 years ago the BB10 millesimo 2006 was born. An Imperial Stout style beer, but made with Cannonau sapa (cooked must). A beer with the millesime and the word Reserve on the label. A beer that therefore aims to age and age well, as only a great wine can do. And it is no coincidence that in 2009 Fermento Birra rewarded Nicola Perra as Brewer of the Year, at the first edition of a recognition that still today retains all its prestige and is passionately followed by the sector. 


BEER BEHEMOTHS AND CONTROLLED BRANDS AbInbev AbInBev with over 500 brands owns 31.4% of the world’s beer production

Heineken (Dibevit) 11.2% of the world’s beer production

China Res. Snow Breweries world production of Snow beer (5.4% of overall world beer consumption, the most sold worldwide)

Carlsberg 5,8% of the world’s beer production

Molson Coors 5,7% of the world’s beer production

BEER LIKE WINE? Wine, or rather, grapes, will gradually become an ingredient increasingly used by breweries, to the point of giving birth to a very precise style, internationally recognized. The IGA (Italian Grape Ale) are now different, perhaps the phenomenon has never exploded in quantitative terms, but the average quality of the beers of this style is high. But before the IGA space has been given to many highly territorial ingredients, from fruit, fresh or dried, through chestnuts: «A style that has had its peak several years ago but now little used - always reminds us of Utzeri - Currently the There are lots of styles with which Italian producers compete, from the Gose (to salt) to the Berliner Weisse, up to the Lager and the whole world of low fermentation. In the face of growing quality, however, there was too much euphoria between 2010 and 2015. Euphoria that led some companies to make optimistic investments and as

Duvel Moortgat 0,9% of the world’s beer production

far as the sign is (between closures and new openings) always positive are not few companies that have gone bankrupt or have closed down. It is no coincidence that the world of brew-firm has grown so much, a phenomenon that is worth a third (in volumes) of the total beer produced». Perhaps, we add, it is also “thanks” to this paradox (qualitative growth and affirmation of a brand in the face of difficulties in creating real companies capable of facing the difficulties of the market) that some multinationals have begun to make almost indispensable proposals to different realities Italian artisans. Proposals, some of which, in fact, have turned in front of the amazement (and anger) of so many who have always believed in the independence of the movement, especially from the great realities of industrial beer. Not only. When the artisan movement ironizes (on social media, for example) about the behavior of the beer industry that mimics the artisan 




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Elav Bi-Du


Desio (MB)

Comun Nuovo (BG)

Olgiate Comasco (CO)

Marnate (VA)




Villa d'Adda (BG)

Croce di Malto

Birrificio Italiano

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Birrificio Lariano

Foglie d'Erba


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Mezzano (TN)





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Codogno (LO)

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Ca' del Brado



Piccolo Birrificio Clandestino

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Birrificio Montegioco Montegioco (AL)


Il Mastio

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MC 77 Serrapetrona (MC)

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Bibibir Almond '22

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Arcidosso (GR)


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Folignano (AP)

P3 Brewing



Montepulciano (SI)

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Ritual Lab

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Formello (RM)

Lara Tertenia (OG)


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Brasseria della Fonte

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Mezzavia Selargius (CA)

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La Fucina


Birrificio di Cagliari

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Eternal City Brewing



Alife (CE)

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Paul Bricius Barley Maracalagonis (CA)

Birrificio dell'Aspide

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Roccadaspide (SA)

Yblon Ragusa

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Canicattini Bagni (SR)


'A Magara Nocera Terinese (CZ)


MAKING CRAFT BEER WITHIN A MULTINATIONAL The brewing context of 15 years ago gave more fervor than it does today: there were so many enthusiasts who approached it with incredible enthusiasm. Today, on the other hand, there is a lot of competition, enthusiasm has fallen and there is a very tough market. Producing artisanal and independent beer and producing it as part of a multinational company represent two different faces of the same world: when you are a craftsman you think above all of the idea and not necessarily foresee what you will do next; in a multinational you also have to think about everything else, how will you know that product, how much it costs and so on. I see the world of craftsmanship certainly growing, but I also see some difficulties because of the high competition and above all for the everincreasing supply. I am convinced, however, that after this period a second wave of greater awareness will begin. – Leonardo Di Vincenzo, founder of Birra del Borgo

(through the creation of pseudo-territorial beers, the use of various hops or the production of unfiltered and “raw” beers) not realizing that the risk is that the industry will come out as the winner, because with capital and means it succeeds in arriving where the artisan cannot. This is why in this context, which is varied and the result of different paths, we think that some factors are still lacking (however much has been done), starting from a basic beer culture, widespread among consumers and not only relegated to the mere production sector. Nowadays we find craft beers in many places, but in how many signs do we find publicans (pub managers or waiters, sommeliers, bankers) who can explain them, who know how to argue? And yet, given the quality achieved, how many producers have managed to create real commercial networks, how many are using marketing levers properly? Perhaps still few, if we relate to the investments made or, as mentioned several times, to the qualitative level reached. These




are themes that should be taken into consideration by the artisanal production sector in order to create a strong movement in all its components, also because the virtuous examples are all right. «We also need to start from the territory - Utzeri replies - Better a smaller brewery, perhaps with a tap room where to serve pints; relying on a neighborhood clientele can be an idea. Smaller companies, but easier to manage, with lots of beer sold locally. We must enhance the figure of the publican and, above all, we must be careful of trends, made of beers built at the table, to surprise the patrons». The same is true of Agostino Arioli: «The risk of being diluted by the crafty approach is pressing and real. The most inalienable values to be leveraged in the immediate future are localism (support your local brewery!) And independence». Equally remembering the social role of beer. That was, is, and must be something popular, to share. Especially if produced with artisan methods that enhance the work of many small entrepreneurs. 

COLLINE DEL PROSECCO FULL THROTTLE THANKS TO UNESCO Wine tourism and environment at the core of the Consortium of Conegliano Valdobbiadene’s plans. Increase in attendance up to 50% more in 10 years. President Nardi silences the controversy: “We are the largest area in Europe to have banned glyphosate”. And now even Valpolicella aims at recognition for the drying process

Words by Loredana Sottile



own from the mountains hills overlap and intersect like a rippling sea.” The words are from more than half a century ago and belong to the Treviso writer Giovanni Comisso, but they could very well also be the motivation that drove, a few days ago, the Unesco World Assembly, meeting in Baku (Azerbaijan), to recognize the Hills of Prosecco Superiore, as a World Heritage Site. This is an expected recognition, especially after a few weeks Icomos (the International Council of monuments and sites), an advisory body of Unesco, had given its positive opinion, “recommending” the candidacy to the World Heritage Committee. But above all this is a recognition that arrives precisely in the year of the 50th anniversary of the birth of the denomination, to seal the work that man, in these years, has created to preserve and bring value to the territory, thus extending the list of Italian sites recognized as “Cultural landscapes” linked to wine, after the registration in 2014 of Langhe Roero and Monferrato. The Veneto axis Conegliano-Cortina, which in a single month, brought home the 2026 Olympics and the UNESCO proclamation is a unique success. It certainly cannot be said that the moment is not favourable for the area. A TEN YEAR PROCESS But let’s take a step back. The application process was initiated in 2008 by the Consortium for the Protection of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG which had started the registration of the site in the proposal list of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. In 2014 the Temporary Purpose Association (ACS) was established and in 2017 the candidacy was announced at the UNESCO

THE 10 UNESCO CULTURAL LANDSCAPE SITES The landscape of the Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene is the tenth site in the world registered in the category of “cultural landscape”. Before it came the awards for Alto Douro (Portugal), Tokaj (Hungary), Pico Island (Portugal), Lavaux (Switzerland), Langhe Roero and Monferrato (Italy), Champagne (France), Burgundy (France), Saint- Emilion (France), Wachau (Austria). All ten sites are evolutionary cultural landscapes, whose visible result is given by human-environment interaction, a vital, constantly evolving interaction.





1. Conegliano Valdobbiadene vineyards 2. Innocenzo Nardi, President of the Consorzio Vini Conegliano Valdobbiadene In the opening, a view of the hills of Prosecco Superiore (photo by Arcangelo Piai)

World Heritage Center in Paris. Then, last year the postponement, entrusted to the word: “Referral” pronounced by the Unesco Commission. “Not a rejection”, the Consortium had immediately specified “otherwise we would not have had other possibilities”. Then postponed to 2019, therefore. The decisive year. The right year. A long process, difficult and not sheltered from controversy. Like the many media attacks related to the use of pesticides, often ended up on national news (and not only). Then the claim of the many (excessive, according to the Tribuna di Treviso) money spent: over 760,000 euro between regional, provincial, municipal and consortium funds. Hitches that never stopped those who believed in it from the beginning.




THE FUTURE What will happen now? There are so many things to do and projects to relaunch. As the president of the Consorzio Vini Conegliano Valdobbiadene Innocenzo Nardi immediately reiterated (photo) “the recognition is not the point of arrival, but an important step in a journey that aims enhance the cultural, artistic and agricultural heritage present in this small area, known for its main product, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore”. Conservation and maintenance are, therefore, the key words that the Consortium has launched, in compliance with the Unesco guidelines for the registered landscape assets, in line with the objective of a balanced and harmonious economic and social development. “Our site” explains Nardi “through


IN MILAN THE COLDIRETTI TOAST The news of the Unesco recognition for the Hills of Prosecco di Conegliano and Valdobbiadene was welcomed in Milan with a maxi-toast promoted by Coldiretti. On the final day of the Farmer’s Village at Castello Sforzesco in Milan, the producers of Coldiretti’s Prosecco DOCG from Veneto offered their best bottles, to celebrate the achievement of the missed goal in July 2018.

THE UNESCO AREA In the last decade, the application process required a revision of the initially proposed boundaries. Today the Unesco site includes the hilly area of the province of Treviso, which extends eastwards from the municipality of Valdobbiadene to the Municipality of Vittorio Veneto, that is, a substantial portion of the vineyard landscape of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg. The CORE ZONE (1) (Valdobbiadene, Miane, Farra di Soligo, Pieve di Soligo, Follina, Cison di Valmarino, Refrontolo, San Pietro di Feletto, Revine Lago, Tarzo, Vidor, Vittorio Veneto) is the most valuable site for its slopes. In particular this area is characterized by the so-called hogback, a series of steep reliefs, interspersed with small valleys parallel to each other. And it’s here that, in particular, the work of man – able to adapt and shape these steep slopes – emerges, thanks to the banks, a particular type of terracing, which uses grass covered soil instead of stone. The third characterizing element is the mosaic, given precisely by interspersing itself between these many small vineyards and the presence of woodland and unproductive elements, which function as an effective ecological network capable of providing quality ecosystem services. Around the core zone, there are two other areas: the so-called BUFFER ZONE (2) (Conegliano, Susegana and San Vendemiano) and the COMMITMENT ZONE (1) (Cappella Maggiore, Colle Umberto, Codognè, Cordignano, Fregona, Godega of Sant’Urbano, Mareno di Piave, Moriago della Battaglia, Sarmede, San Fior, Sernaglia della Battaglia, Segusino, Santa Lucia di Piave and Vazzola), where the main characteristics of the candidacy can be recognized, but with greater urban development.




the management association will have to report to Unesco on the state of conservation and maintenance of the registered landscape assets. In particular, it must follow what is drafted in the Management Plan and as recommended by Unesco itself. To do this, the association implements a monitoring system of the objectives and actions to be carried out, which is transmitted and examined by the competent bodies of Unesco periodically”. The main themes to focus on are tourism and the agricultural use of the territory. But let’s see in detail.


UNESCO RECOGNITION. IT’S NOW VALPOLICELLA’S TURN Veneto is now looking for the third victory. After the Cortina Olympics and Unesco for the hills of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the region is already thinking about the candidacy of the practice of withering Amarone della Valpolicella. The idea is not new. Already two years ago the regional governor Luca Zaia, from the Vinitaly podium, had launched the challenge, immediately collected by the Consortium of Wines of Valpolicella. But after a few official meetings, things had not moved ahead. “Now, once the priority of the Conegliano practice is over, we trust there is a greater concentration on our candidacy,” the director of the Consorzio Olga Bussinello (photo) tells Tre Bicchieri. “We know that this is a long journey, which cannot be improvised,” she continues, “but we trust that the example and advice of our Eastern Veneto cousins can be useful to quickly reach the goal.” In this specific case, unlike the Hills of Prosecco Superiore, this would not be a landscape, but a practice, which would therefore fall between the intangible assets of historical and cultural significance. On the same Heritage list belongs the Pantelleria sapling technique. The next step will be to identify the subjects involved to form the temporary association of purpose that will then have to deal with the dossier: “Without a doubt there must be the 19 Municipalities that fall within the Amarone area, with the Consortium acting as the leader, “explains Bussinello,” but we also count on the involvement of other local authorities. Meanwhile, we will try to meet with the Region to understand what kind of investment it will want to make on the candidacy”. A nomination that for the Consortium will serve, not only to create a system around the wine, as a driver of arrivals on the territory, but also to armour and protect the Amarone system: “The recognition could give us a hand in the work of defending the denomination, excluding all the myriad of borderline situations, with which we are struggling to protect our production”. Here we go again, therefore. From East to West, with wine that continues to act as a centre of gravity.




TERRITORY AND SUSTAINABILITY The land management plan has two main objectives: protection of the vitality of the rural economy and good management of the perceived rural landscape; the protection of the testimonial portions of the agricultural landscape. “Themes” clarifies the president of the Consortium “that are implemented through the adoption of the so-called Technical Regulations, drawn up between Municipalities and the Veneto Region on the management of the rural landscape. The standard will be adopted in the municipal development plans, in order to provide the entire territory with the same management tools”. One of the most debated issues when it comes to Prosecco (Superior or Doc that it is) environmental protection is linked to the territorial theme. The candidacy, in fact, was accompanied by many controversies relating to the abuse of pesticides in the vineyards. Controversy that did not spare even the arrival of the expected recognition. First the coverage by the Report TV programme (it was 2016) that accused the whole Prosecco system (Doc, Docg and Asolo), then the request of some environmental associations to withdraw the candidacy. The Prosecco Superiore, for its part, responds with a growing course of attention to the environment: since 2011 it has adopted a viticultural protocol that regulates the production phases and provides, among other things, just this year the implementation of the ban on the use of glyphosate, an active substance contained in pesticides, but still admitted by the European Union. Not only. By 2013, the Consortium had already excluded all formulations containing products based on Folpet, Mancozeb, Dithianon. The objective is to achieve the Sqnpi sustainability certification (national quality system for integrated production), with the pos-

sibility for the 185 sparkling wine houses to put the bee logo on their wines. Two phases are planned: certify 25% of the operators by 2021 and increase the certifications by 10% every subsequent year. “The Conegliano Valdobbiadene” Nardi is keen to remind us “is the largest area in Europe that has banned the use of the most discussed chemical substance in recent years, which continues to be used in many Italian and European agricultural areas. We can therefore affirm that we are a laboratory of environmental sustainability that is unique in Italy for its ability to include those involved”. WINE TOURISM Equally to the attention of the territory, attention must be paid to the wine tourism sector. An important resource, with still great potential, but that “must be managed”, as the president of the Consortium recalls: “While on the one hand it has positive advantages for the territory, on the other hand if managed with approximation it can cause negative impacts. For this purpose and in order to follow the Unesco guidelines on sustainable tourism, the recovery of disused buildings for the creation of hotels, B&B and farmhouses will be favored, without however affecting the historical-testimonial features of the main rural buildings that they characterize the territory. Furthermore, the accessibility to the site will be encouraged through the creation of a soft mobility network, consisting of pedestrian and cycle paths, accompanied by support structures that illustrate to the visitor the main features of uniqueness and universality of the site”. To understand the effects that can be had in the short and long term, we can refer to the two hypotheses envisaged by the Ciset study (Inter-

Il 75,1% delle cantine è anche azienda agricola, ciò significa che in queste strutture non ci si occupa solo della produzione e del vino ma si coltiva anche l’uva destinata alla lavorazione e alla trasformazione in prodotto finale, a dimostrazione dell’importanza per le aziende del Distretto di garantire la continuità della filiera. Inoltre, il 94,2% delSTORIES le aziende è rappresentato da case spumantistiche Docg, ovvero aziende che imbottigliano almeno una bottiglia di Spumante Docg e/o Rive Docg e/o Superiore di Cartizze Docg. Tale caratteristica rappresenta una garanzia di qualità per il consumatore oltre che costituire per l’enoturista un motivo in più per la visita, data la possibilità di esperire sia il vigneto che il processo di spumantizzazione e imbottigliamento, dandogli la WINE TOURISM. THEdell’uva. CIRVE REPORT FOR 2018 possibilità di assistere all’intero “ciclo” Di fatto, oggi molte cantine sono aperte, oltre che nei feriali, Center anche di of sabato The outcome of the 2018 Economic Report of giorni the Study the (43,4%) e di domenica (25,4%) e altrettante (73,2% sul totale), sia nei giorni feriali che District of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, shows how many wine producing festivi, restano aperte fino al tardo pomeriggio (tra le 18.00 e le 20.00). entities are gearing up. Most of thedi cellars are open, as on weekInoltre, sempre più cantine sono dotate punto vendita (85%) easdi well una sala adibita alle days, also on(78,6%). Saturdays (43.4%)alle andsale ondiSundays (25.4%). 85% have a sales degustazioni I dati relativi degustazione evidenziano un lieve calo del -0,4% precedente. point andrispetto 78.6%all’anno a tasting room. The figure relating to the so-called reIn leggero aumento rispetto 2016 le cantine che segnalano disporre 73% di un in manaception manager among al staff was also positive (73.4%diagainst the ger dell’accoglienza tra il personale (73,4% contro il 73% dell’anno precedente), chiaro previous year), as well as staff knowledge of foreign languages: English segnale della propensione all’accoglienza, così come la conoscenza delle lingue straisniere spoken in the of companies German 38.7%.e Overall, da parte dello79.8% staff: l’inglese è parlatoand nel 79,8% delleinaziende il tedescothe nel number of visitors registered in in 2017 the cellars of 2016 the Prosecco 38,7%. Questo dato è tuttavia ancora calo in rispetto al 41% del e al 68% delDocg 2015. Di fatto, il trend dovrebbe essere opposto se si considera la forte turistian di area of Conegliano Valdobbiadene under investigation ispresenza 348.566,diwith lingua tedesca nei comuni del Distretto. Come evidenziato nel primo capitolo, i mercati average of 2.015 visitors per cellar. A value that is still small, but which is tedesco e austriaco sono molto rilevanti nel Distretto, tanto da rappresentare insieme constantly growing: between 2015 and 2016 there was an increase of 8%, circa il 20/30% degli arrivi e delle presenze straniere registrate nell’area. Si segnala between and 2017del of personale 3.5%. Overall, betweenuna 2009 and conoscenza 2017, visitors anche, tra2016 le competenze “di contatto”, discreta del grew at an average annual rate of 9.3%. Of these, 35% del come from francese, dello spagnolo e, in qualche caso, del portoghese, russo, del Veneto, cinese e del giapponese. Per quanto invece di pernottamento ristorazione 28% from the rest of Italyconcerne and 29% fromi servizi abroad. The period ofethe year in all’interno delle cantine, le percentuali registrate sono basse e in costante solo which the peak of visitors is recorded is the spring-summer one,calo: thanks il l’11,6% delle cantine offre la possibilità agli ospiti di pernottare e il 6,4% è in grado also to the events organized in the territory: 27.8% opt for the months bedi soddisfare i clienti anche con la ristorazione (entrambi i dati sono inferiori a quelli tween January and April, 36.8% the May period - August registrati nel 2016 quando erano parifor rispettivamente al 12% e al 7%). and 27.3% for

those going from September to December. The average cost per customer is2.2. 65.3 euros.deiValue thatdelle could improve, with the improvement of the ofIl profilo visitatori cantine

fer. date, paragrafo in fact, the activities wineries appearinquite NelTo presente si propone una proposed descrizione by dei the visitatori delle cantine relazione alla provenienza (veneti, italianipropose o stranieri), alla to distribuzione nelle cantine standard: 84.4% of the wineries a visit the cellar; 61.8% offere ai a periodi dell’anno che preferiscono per spostarsi. visit to the vineyard; 75.7% of companies offer tasting of production wines.

I visitatori registrati nel 2017 nelle cantine dell’area del Prosecco Docg di Conegliano Valdobbiadene oggetto di indagine sono 348.566. Il campione di aziende partecipanti not organize cultural events; 96.5% which has no agreement with wellness all’indagine evidenzia una media per cantina di 2.015 visitatori (circa 3% rispetto al areas. 65.1% in the last 5 years increased 2016). However, Pur sembrando unstate valorethat esiguo, si osserva che nelvisits mediohave periodo il numeroand dei 67.1% expect furtherdel increase near future. And what occasion visitatori nelleacantine Distrettoinèthe cresciuto rapidamente, senzabetter mai registrare inversioni di tendenza: infatti, tra il 2015 e il 2016 si è registrato un aumento del +8%, tra than a UNESCO recognition? il 2016 e il 2017 del +3,5%. Nel complesso tra il 2009 e il 2017 i visitatori sono cresciuti con un incremento medio annuo del +9,3%.

Against 79.8% who do not organize food and wine events; 82.7% who do

Trend of winery visitors from 2009 to 2017 400.000 350.000 300.000 250.000 200.000 150.000 100.000 50.000 0

Fonte: Rielaborazio su dati indagine CIR 2009





Graf. 7 – Trend dei visitatori delle cantine dal 2009 al 2017










national Center for Studies on Tourism Economics) which, analyzing the growth data concerning other Unesco sites, predicted up to 50% more visitors in the area over the next 10 years:


• Cautious scenario (+12% visitors in 10 years): + 1% average annual visitors to wineries; + 1% average annual attendance, due to the increase in tourists and the average stay of 1 night; + 3% average annual turnover deriving from the expense of tourists thanks above all to the growth of arrivals and presences; growth of around half a percentage point each year in the average occupancy rate of accommodation facilities: from 35% to 37% after 10 years.

The role played by tour operators also appears to be fundamental in the wine tourism sector, with 42.2% of wineries declaring that they welcome visitors highly interested in wine tasting and in wine tours organized by travel agencies (an increase compared to 40.7%). of 2016) and 39.3% of visitors who take part in more general tours organized by travel agencies where a visit to the winery is one of the proposed territorial elements (an increase compared to 36.6% in 2016). And, in fact, the expectation of the recognition had already led to choral experiences to create a system around wine, food and tourism. As in the case of the Prosecco Hills, the network of companies, which just a few weeks ago presented a digital portal that connects the 20 realities of the territory where the visitor can find events and accommodation facilities but also different experiential proposals, divided by theme and easily bookable online. On the other hand, as the president of Prosecco Hills Federico Capraro reminds us, “we are talking about a lively territory that is preparing to also be the location for major international events such as the 2021 World Ski Championships and the 2026 Olympic Games. At only 70 km from Venice and the same diastance from the Dolomites, the Hills of Prosecco of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene complete a tourist and experiential offer that’s quite unique in the world, and that counts 3 world heritage sites in a very limited geographical radius. The Unesco recognition charges us with responsibility and fills us with pride because in this area of ours environmental peculiarities are intertwined with very small hotel facilities and a wine and agri-food excellence”.




• Optimistic scenario (+50% visitors in 10 years): + 4% average annual visitors to the cellars; + 3% average annual attendance, due to the increase in tourists and the average stay of 1 night; + 6% average annual turnover deriving from the expense of tourists, thanks above all to the growth of arrivals and presences; growth of around 1.5 percentage points each year in the average occupancy rate of accommodation facilities: from 35% to 47% after 10 years. “As President of the Consortium for the Protection of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG” concludes Nardi, “I really want to reiterate that the recognition was given to the territory and not to wine. This is an element that strengthens our strategy to work on the value of the territory and on the quality of the product that originates in this area. We therefore hope to keep marketing the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore as a synthesis of a unique and well-defined cultural identity”. 





Milazzo (ME)


Milazzo (ME)


  






Malfa – Salina – Isole Eolie via Scalo 15 – Aeolian Islands


La Rosetta al Pantheon, Open Colonna e Pipero al Rex di Roma; La Torre del Saracino a Vico Equense (NA); Malabar a Lima (Perù)





Stefano Zanini





Things that are not good



Mattia Spalletta, Sara Lopes, Marco Ferretti, Francesca Follone, Angelica Pantò, Francesca Barone, Valerio Maratona, Lavinia Grenga, Mhamed El Mselek, Youssef Takhmoune, Morlaye Tourè IN THE DINING ROOM

Luca Caruso con Alberto Triolo, Riccardo Basile, Azzedine Takhmoune, Graziana Randazzo, Chantal La Mancusa

My Father’s (Michele) baddottole in broth (bread, egg, cheese dumplings, cooked in vegetable broth) MOST REVERED MAESTRO

I met several life and work teachers during my journey: everyone left me with something


Caterina Ceraudo (she first mentioned me in the June issue of Gambero Rosso!) MY CUISINE’S HASHTAGS

grounded, respect, ingredient, tradition, fun FAVOURITE RESTAURANT ABROAD

Asador Etxebarri in Atxondo (Bizkaia - Spagna) WINE ABOVE ALL OTHERS



Luca Caruso con Jada Parisi, Mattia Moro COCKTAIL BAR

Raffaele Caruso (bartender) con Josefine Truppel e Paolo Monello


…I don’t know, maybe medical school, or photography…



Playing the Piano di Ryuichi Sakamoto

Bagna cauda with raw sea urchin Confit mackerel, green olive soup, bufala and candied capers Mismatched pasta with mussels, zucchini and Ragusano cheese Milk, chocolate, coffee and carob soup


Dinner with Darwin. Food, drink and evolution, by Jonathan W. Silvertown

by Paolo Cuccia - portrait by Lido Vannucchi – photos by Giò Martorana and Lorenzo Rui









Bagna cauda with raw sea urchin roe ingredients for 4 400 g milk 1500 g heavy cream 2 cloves of garlic 80 g anchovy paste 250 g potatoes, boiled sea urchin roe Put all the ingredients in the pan except the roe, which will be used only at the end; bring to a boil and blend. Place the blended mixture in a deep dish; garnish with a generous spoonful of raw sea urchin roei.









Mix-matched pasta with creamed zucchini, marinated mussels and Ragusano Dop cheese ingredients for 4 320 g mix-matched Gragnano pasta 1 kg mussels 3 green zucchini extra virgin olive oil black pepper 40 g Parmigiano Reggiano

For the Ragusano foam: 225 g milk 110 g fresh heavy cream 225 g Ragusano, minced black pepper

Lightly fry the zucchini slices, add a ladle of water, cook them and then blend them well, adjusting seasoning salt and pepper. Put the mussels in the pot and cover with a lid; let the shells open over high heat, cool them immediately and shell them. Save the liquid they release. In a saucepan bring the milk and cream to a boil and add the cheese: melt it well and add black pepper. In a pan bring the ingredients of the marinade to a boil with the filtered mussel water and the shelled mussels. Remove the mussels and cloves and add the mix-matched pasta: cook it adding a few ladles of broth (any extra mussel water; or vegetable stock or fish broth) if needed. In the last minutes of cooking add the zucchini cream. Make sure the pasta is al dente, stir in the extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano. Plate pasta, season with a tablespoon of Ragusano and the mussels drained from the seasoning, finish with one

for the marinade: 500 g mussel water (plus more is necessary) 100 g extra virgin olive oil 50 g white wine vinegar 2 tbsp. paprika 4 cloves 3 bay leaves 1 tbsp. triple concentrated tomato





Confit mackerel, soup of green olives, bufala, samphire and candied capers ingredients for 4 4 mackerel fillets 200 g mozzarella di bufala 100 g green olives, pitted 100 g capers from Salina extra virgin olive oil balanced salt (salt, granulated sugar and brown sugar) samphire white wine vinegar water sugar 6 heirloom tomatoes 12 grape tomatoes

Put the capers in a vacuum-sealed bag and cover with sugar, then leave to marinate for a week. Store them in an airtight container with the brine that will form. Blend the heirloom and grape tomatoes and let them drain for a night in a cloth in the fridge to collect the tomato water. Blend the water with the pitted olives and filter. Make the balanced salt mixture with these proportions: 65 g of sea salt, 25 g of granulated sugar and 10 g of brown sugar (with this mixture use 9 g per each kg). Clean the mackerel and blast freeze the fillets (or freeze for 48 hours) in the balanced salt mixture to kill any potential anisakis parassite. Thaw the fillets and after cutting them to the desired size, pack in sous vide, covered in oil and steam for 7 minutes at 50°C. Cool the bag in ice water, then take the fillets out of the bag and grill on the yakitori (a special Japanese grill) before serving. Blanch the samphire in water and vinegar three times, then store it in oil and then plate it before serving. When ready to serve, cover the mozzarella with very hot water and tear it to shreds. Assemble the dish: arrange the olive soup then the ripped up mozzarella topped with a dash of black pepper, then the seared samphire and finally the grilled mackerel fillets and candied capers. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.





Milk, chocolate, coffee and carob soup ingredients for 4 For the milk soup: 225 g whole milk 25 g fresh heavy cream 10 g corn starch 25 g sugar For the praline finish: 50 g milk chocolate 50 g white chocolate 10 g butter 5 g coffee powder 50 g cereal

For the carob syrup: 50 g carob, ground water For the wafer: 35 g “00” type flour 35 g sugar 35 g butter 40 g egg white

Prepare the soup: put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a light simmer, let the mixture thicken a little and let it cool in contact with plastic film. Prepare the praline: melt the chocolates and butter in a double boiler and add the coffee powder and the cereal, form a square tile and let it cool, then cut the tile into squares. Prepare the syrup: cover the carob with water and leave to rest for 24 hours; occasionally mix and add water if necessary. Bring everything to a boil over a low heat and then leave to rest for 24 hours; filter and concentrate. (To save time you can purchase "Carob must"). Prepare the wafer: melt the butter, add the sugar and the flour a little at a time and finally stir in the beaten egg whites. Spread the mixture on a silpat and form thin circles, then bake at 180°C for a few minutes. Assemble the dish: pour a ladle of milk soup on the bottom, place the praline squares in the centre, sprinkle with coffee powder and draw circles with the carob syrup; finish with a wafer over the praline.












rom Tokyo to Stockholm. Gambero Rosso just announced the new itinerary of the World Tour, choosing the capital of Japan once again as the setting for the year’s most eagerly awaited Italian wine tour abroad. The program includes more than 30 stops, reaching all the main markets, from the most emerging to the strongest ones. For the very first time the biggest Italian wine tasting tour will stop in Chengdu, Salzburg, Calgary, and Ho Chi Minh. Gambero Rosso will take part also to all the main wine trade fairs, from the new Vinexpo Paris to Vinexpo Hong Kong, ProWein in Dusseldorf, and Vinitaly in Verona. A special attention will be given to Dubai that will host a new event of the tour during the super awaited Expo 2020. Lastly, the tour will feature also the second edition of Wine & Sea, a unique tasting tour on board thanks to the partnership with MSC and Ruffo Viaggi. All the stops will feature a huge walk around tasting with only the very top labels that bring in the glass our incredible heritage and variety of native grapes.

Infine, da notare la seconda edizione di Wine & Sea, una degustazione unica a bordo, grazie alla collaborazione con MSC e Ruffo Viaggi. Tutte le fermate prevedono un ricchissimo banco d’assaggi che metterà al centro solo le migliori bottiglie capaci di trasmettere nel bicchiere il nostro incredibile patrimonio di varietà autoctone.



Il Gambero Rosso prenderà parte a tutte le principali fiere del vino internazionale, dalla nuova Vinexpo Parigi a Vinexpo Hong Kong, il ProWein di Dusseldorf e quindi Vinitaly a Verona. Gli occhi saranno puntanti anche su Dubai che ospiterà un nuovo evento proprio durante il super atteso Expo2020.



27 ROME - Itay


a Tokyo a Stoccolma. Il Gambero Rosso ha appena annunciato il nuovo itinerario del World Tour, scegliendo ancora una volta la capitale del Giappone come punto di partenza per il tour del vino italiano più atteso nel mondo. Il programma prevede oltre 30 fermate toccando alcuni dei più interessanti mercati emergenti insieme a quelli già molto consolidati. Per la prima volta il più ricco e strutturato tour del vino italiano del mondo raggiungerà Chengdu, Salisburgo, Calgary e Ho Chi Minh.

trebicchieri trebicchieri

04 06 08 25 27

SEOUL - Korea

Top Italian Wines Roadshow




Top Italian Wines Roadshow

MOSCOW - Russia


ST. PETERSBURG - Russia Top Italian Wines Roadshow

2020 JANUARY 19-26 WINE&SEA - II EDITION 27 MUNICH - Germany trebicchieri 29 BERLIN - Germany Vini d’Italia

trebicchieri Vini d’Italia trebicchieri VINEXPO Special Top Italian Wines Roadshow


Notte Italiana - Best of Italy

19 VERONA - Italy

trebicchieri VINITALY Special

04 MONTREAL - Canada 06 CALGARY - Canada 08 VANCOUVER - Canada 22 HO CHI MINH - Vietnam 27 HONG KONG - China

trebicchieri Top Italian Wines Roadshow Top Italian Wines Roadshow Top Italian Wines Roadshow trebicchieri VINEXPO Special

Top Italian Wines Roadshow trebicchieri



01 BEIJING - China




FEBRUARY 03 STOCKHOLM - Sweden 05 COPENHAGEN - Denmark 2020 11 PARIS - France 21 MEXICO CITY - Mexico 24 MIAMI - Usa 26 CHICAGO - Usa 28 NEW YORK - Usa


trebicchieri trebicchieri trebicchieri PROWEIN Special trebicchieri


GAMBERO ROSSO SENIOR EDITOR Lorenzo Ruggeri PHOTO EDITOR Rossella Fantina LAYOUT Maria Victoria Santiago CONTRIBUTORS Stefania Annese, Michela Becchi, Giuseppe Carrus, William Pregentelli, Loredana Sottile PHOTOGRAPHS AND DRAWINGS Consorzio Vini Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Giò Martorana , Arcangelo Piai, Lorenzo Rui, Giovanni Tagini, Lido Vannucchi GR USA CORP PUBLISHER & PRESIDENT Paolo Cuccia Advertising Class Pubblicità SpA Milano, Via Marco Burigozzo, 8 - tel. 02 58219522 For commercial enquiries: Advertising director Paola Persi email: Gambero Rosso and are registered trademarks belonging to Gambero Rosso S.p.A. GAMBERO ROSSO is a Registered Trademark used under license by GR USA CORP Copyright by GAMBERO ROSSO S.P.A. 2019. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. GR USA CORP is not responsible for loss, damage, or any other injury as to unsolicited manuscripts, unsolicited artwork or any other unsolicited materials. July-August 2019

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Gambero Rosso Wine Travel Food n.130  

Gambero Rosso Wine Travel Food n.130