I arrived in Verona yesterday and was so excited to see the signs for Vinitaly around this city. This year, part of the festivities is to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italy. Veronafiere, the parent company of Vinitaly, created two special bottles of wine made from 40 indigenous grapes. Or better, each bottle is made from 20 indigenous grapes. The bottles which are called UNA are symbols of Italian unity. Italy has almost uninterrupted vines from the Valle d’Aosta to Pantelleria.
The idea was one that came to the President of Veronafiere, Ettore Riello in a conversation he had with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano last year at Vinitaly. I was actually standing outside of the building when Napolitano arrived at Vinitaly. It was the first time an Italian President had ever come to Vinitaly. There was much fanfare and excitement. This year, I was lucky enough to be in the room when Riello presented Napolitano with the first bottles of UNA in New York.
Each bottle of UNA is numbered and Napolitano of course received bottle number 1. The bottles themselves as you can see from this picture are beautifully created and very artistic. The reason that the bottles are called UNA is because before Italy was unified, when people referred to Italy they called it UNA.
Italy has more indigenous varieties than any other nation in the world. I am sure that the regional supervisors of agriculture had a difficult time choosing the varieties that went into the blend but in the end, they chose the ones that they felt were the most representative of their regions.
Here is a list of the top 20 white and top 20 red varieties that went into making UNA.
Trebbiano di Lugana
Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Rossese di Dolceacqua
Refosco dal peduncolo rosso
Sangiovese (Emilia Romagna)
Cesanese di Affile
Aglianico del Vulture