Gambero hits the road

David Longfield reports from the London leg of Gambero Rosso's inaugural world tour - a showcase for dozens of top Italian producers
27 August, 2008
Italy's top wine guide publication, Gambero Rosso, has embarked on a world tour with 49 of its award -winning producers, displaying their wares in 11 cities around the world in the Top Italian Wine Roadshow.

Beginning in Stockholm and Zurich last November, the tour continued to London and Copenhagen in January, Amsterdam and Brussels in February, Los Angeles and Las Vegas early in March, with Berlin and Duesseldorf lined up for April, plus a final visit to Moscow scheduled for mid-October.

Gambero Rosso has traditionally held annual events in New York, San Francisco and less frequently in Germany as a showcase for the winners of the Italian Wine Guide's highest awards, the Tre Bicchieri (three glasses). But these shows are produced in conjunction with the Slow Food organisation, and the only previous series of exclusively Gambero Rosso events was for the English language launch of its magazine in the US in 1995.

A broad selection of vintages, going back to 2001, was available to taste at the London session . The objective, according to organiser Marina Thompson of Thompson Marketing International, was: "To make people aware of how the quality of Italian wine has changed over the past 10 years. The goal was to have as many wines from the different areas as we could.

"There are more producers aiming for higher quality, for lower production and to find a balance for their own estates," she said. "And the younger generation are really having an influence."

Certainly, the splendid Vintners Hall venue was well attended - with strong representation from the top -end UK merchants and on-trade, as well as a notably high number of Masters of Wine.

A similar tour is planned for 2008/9, again beginning in November, but this time with a maximum of nine events and omitting the US market. "We want to have a European focus and to develop new markets such as the Czech Republic and Bulgaria," said Thompson.

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