I have been in Italy for the past three weeks and have been absent from this blog. I have tried many new wines and met old and new friends along the way. It has been a truly wonderful experience although the terrible earthquake in Abruzzo on April 6 at 3:32 a.m. has put a pale over the country and its inhabitants. Many initiatives are underway here and in the States to help the victims of this catastrophe. I hope everyone involved in the wine world is helping out. I will write about the wines from Abruzzo that I tasted at Vinitaly this week but wanted to mention an event that is happening on this Sunday and Monday. Forte Divino is a new wine event which will be held at Villa Bertelli on April 19 and 20 in Forte dei Marmi, in Tuscany. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend this year but definitely plan on attending in the future. The event will showcase white wines and sparkling wines. This edition is called numero zero. There will be three sections to the event, one of Classic wines or those of well known Italian producers, a second section is dedicated to Italian importers who bring in white wines and sparkling wines and a third section is for those wines that have a terrific price/quality ratio. Forte dei Marmi is located on the Tuscan coast in an area called Versilia. It is beautiful and very chic. I have no doubt the event will be a success. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the organizers of Fortedivino at Vinitaly, Gianpaolo Giacomelli. Gianpaolo owns an enoteca, Il Mulino del Cibus, in Sarzana, a lovely town on the border between Liguria and Tuscany near the city of La Spezia. His wine knowledge and palate were truly impeccable and I am sure that he and his partners will bring noteworthy producers to the event. I’m sorry I will miss this first edition.