• 2016.03.15
  • Tuscany Wine Preview! (AnteprimaToscana)
At the beginning of every year, previews (anteprima) of new vintages are held throughout Italy before the wines are put on the market.
This year like usual, previews were held beginning with that of the red wine Amarone della Valpolicella in Veneto at the end of January, and previews were held in Tuscany from mid-February, which I was able to participate for the tasting.

Photo provided by: Kosuke Michisaki

The schedule released for the press was as follows.
1st day: Previews in eight regions including Carmignano, Pitigliano, Maremma and Lucca
2nd day: Chianti Lovers
3rd & 4th day: Chianti Classico Collection
5th day: Anteprima di Vino Nobile di Montepluciano
6th & 7th day: Benvenuto Brunello

The video clip shows a scene from Chianti Lovers

Since the Chianti preview alone was open to the public with an admission charge, it was quite lively just like the previous year.

Additionally, this year marked the 50th anniversary of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano as well as the 300th anniversary of Chianti Classico, which likely contributed to the increased excitement compared to past years.

Photo provided by: Kosuke Michisaki

Especially with regards to the preview of Chianti Classico, many people flocked to the tasting event because the Chianti Classico Collection was held in Florence, which offers convenient access.

Photo provided by: Kosuke Michisaki

During the two days, roughly 250 journalists from Italy and 30 other countries around the world came, and served by the approximately 50 sommeliers, 7,000 bottles of wine made by 165 producers were set up on the large tables to be tasted.

Photo provided by: Kosuke Michisaki

The venue was divided into two sections, of which one was a tasting hall where seated journalists were served by the sommeliers, and another was a tasting hall for those in the restaurant industry served by the producers. The latter was packed this year with about 1,800 people participating.

The sommeliers at the tasting were extremely kind and swift in their service, contributing to a tasting event that was carried out very pleasantly.

Photo provided by: Consorzio di Vernaccia di Sangiminano

Photo provided by: Consorzio di Vernaccia di Sangiminano

The tasting event at Dante Room of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, held every year during the previews, left the deepest impression on me during this week of wine tasting. Probably because of its 50th anniversary, five well-known Italian journalists discussed the soil and history of San Gimignano as well as the future of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, as everyone tasted various vintages made by the best of Vernaccia di San Gimignano producers.

Photo provided by: Consorzio di Vernaccia di Sangiminano

Because the venue for the tasting was a historical building of San Gimignano, it gave me a very refined feeling.

Although the week of Tuscany’s previews has ended, wine tasting events will still continue through various regions in Italy.

Various regions in Italy all have a variety native to their region as well as local cuisine and local wine. Even if you don’t know which wine to order at restaurants when traveling, as long as you order the local wine to go with the local cuisine of the region, you can enjoy a good combination.

Now in Japan, wine from all over the world has been made available, but how about turning your attention to Italian wine sometimes?


  • Mirai Tsuda
  • JobAIS sommelier (Italy’s national qualification for sommeliers),Wine Journalist

Since acquiring the qualification as a sommelier, I have been visiting some 200 wineries each year. My goal is to share the fascinations of Italy to the people of Japan by holding wine seminars as well as writing about wine and Italian cuisine.

View a list of Mirai Tsuda's

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