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Mauians: Want a sip of Italy? Mark your travel calendars for tasty events

March 8, 2012 - Carla Tracy

As someone who’s been to Italy before, I know it’s a top tourist destination for those who live in Hawaii. On my last visit, there were hordes of Mauians there just like me, drinking in the Italian hospitality that exudes from the people like aloha. Besides magnificent architecture, scenery and history, food and the wine are also a big draw.

The city of Florence will set the stage May 17 to 20 for Divino Tuscany, a one-of-a-kind, four-day celebration of the best Tuscan wines, food and culture.

The distinctive program will offer wine tastings with Tuscany’s top winemakers, seminars and grand tastings curated by James Suckling, former Senior Editor and European Bureau Chief of Wine Spectator and one of the world's most influential wine critics; special luncheons and dinners prepared by Michelin-starred chefs and entertainment organized by IMG Artists, one of the leading producers of cultural and lifestyle festivals.

Participating winemakers include Marchesi Antinori, Frescobaldi, Mazzei, Ricasoli, Il Borro, Petrolo and Castello Banfi, and more.

Highlights include a festive welcome dinner with the Italian premiere screening of James Suckling’s and James Orr’s film “Heart and Soul of Cuba,” recently shown to rave reviews at the Sonoma Film Festival, live music from Havana’s hottest pianist, Ernán López Nussa performing with his trio, and Grappa tasting with Cuban cigars.

Gala dinner at the opulent Palazzo Corsini on the banks of the Arno.

Grand Tastings at the Grand Hotel Villa Cora poured by the winemakers and proprietors themselves.

Saturday night dinners in the private Palazzi of the most well known Tuscan wine families.

Join James Suckling as he escorts you through private tastings with winemakers he has personally invited for this intimate experience.

Divino Tuscany will close with a relaxed country lunch at the private villa Il Palagio, courtesy of owners Sting and Trudie Styler.

Tickets: The Full Pass Package for Divino Tuscany is €1900 per person, including applicable taxes. You may purchases tickets online at Divino Tuscany web site.

In addition, for those who can’t get to Europe this year, Vinitaly will debut its Spring US Tour April 30 in Chicago and May 2-3 in New York City with business seminars and educational tastings of Valpolicella and Prosecco.

This is the 15th international tour of Vinitaly and the first time the tour is being held in the Spring. The tour will be stopping in the United States, China and Russia, according to a press release.

Vinitaly will have both trade and consumer components with proceeds from the consumer tasting going to benefit the American Cancer Society. This is the fourth time Vinitaly is working to raise money in the fight against cancer, a disease that knows no global boundaries.

There will be a consumer and trade tasting on April 30th in Chicago at the River East Arts Center and a trade tasting on May 2 at Three Sixty° (Tribeca Rooftop). Vinitaly is also participating in the well-known consumer event, “A Taste of Hope” at 82 Mercer on May 3 to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Vinitaly is dedicated to educating American trade and consumers about Italian wines. This year will see a beefed up number of business seminars including one entitled “How To Build Your Brand? What is the connection between sampling and sales?” Another seminar addresses issues in the restaurant industry. “What are recent trends in restaurants? How has the wine by the glass program evolved? Are Winemaker dinners a thing of the past?”

To register for Vinitaly events please go to: Vinitaly web site


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