Over 20 Sicilia DOC wineries participated in trade tasting events in the US market including the second annual Sicilian Wine Maestro Sommelier Competition and Grand Tasting
NEW YORK, June 28, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The Sicilia DOC consortium recently concluded its first week-long event activation in New York celebrating wines of Sicily among media and trade professionals. The institution, officially represented by President, Antonio Rallo, and board member, Alessio Planeta, presented the island’s mosaic of flavors and the versatility of Sicilia DOC wines, engaging a wide audience of over 200+ wine professionals, including key opinion leaders, importers, retailers and restaurateurs.
Since its establishment in 2011, the Sicilia DOC Consortium has worked to strengthen the reputation of Sicilian wines, improving quality, sustainability and market position, and this event series is the most recent marketing innovation to support the goals of the Consortium.
The narrative of Sicilian wine is grounded in the region’s uniqueness, one that is layered in history and art, landscape and soil diversity, and a vast heritage of indigenous grapes, which amount to over 70 different varieties. Throughout the week, the Sicilia DOC consortium recounted these characteristics over a series of several events and activations:
Sicilian Wine Maestro – A Competition for Wine Professionals
After the success of the first edition in 2022, the Consortium hosted the second year of the Sicilian Wine Maestro wine competition dedicated to US wine professionals. More than 60 applicants competed for the title, and tested their knowledge of indigenous Sicilian varieties. Three selected finalists participated in the ultimate challenge in New York competing to prove their knowledge of Sicily’s rich history and culture, as well as an understanding of how the island’s viticulture and winemaking are being reshaped by new generations of winemakers. Three Michelin star restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, hosted the blind tasting of the competition as well as the celebratory dinner to follow. Guests dined over the distinguished plant-based menu and a top selection of Sicilia DOC wines.
A judging panel including Sicilia DOC Ambassador, Jeffrey Porter, co-founder of Beaupierre Wines & Spirits and Contento Restaurant, Yannick Benjamin, highly acclaimed Master Sommelier and author, Pascaline Lepeltier, and award-winning sommelier, Tonya Pitts evaluated every step of the competition, included the wine exam, creative video presentation, blind tasting, and final service challenge, determining the winner: Mark Guillaideau, Sommelier and Service Director at Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona. Mark will hold the title of 2023 Sicilian Wine Maestro, and will attend the fall trip to Sicily organized by the consortium. Other finalists included: Chris Stuck, Beverage Director at ilili restaurant, New York, and Keith Mattrick, Sommelier at F.L.X. Table, Finger Lakes, New York.
Grand Tasting and Seminar
Over 200 members of the New York wine trade and press attended the first Sicilia DOC grand tasting, featuring 25 Sicilia DOC producers, who gathered together to taste the island wine at the Nomo Soho hotel in lower Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood. Guests in attendance included the city’s top importers and distributors, the retail and restaurant community, as well as New York-based wine media. Antonio Rallo, Alessio Planeta and Jeff Porter introduced the sustainable and organic practices guiding the Sicilian renaissance to an audience of media and trade professionals in a formal tasting seminar titled Sustainable Sicily: How the Island Became the Leading Organic Wine Region in Italy
Press Lunch with President of the Consortium and Donnafugata winemaker and , Antonio Rallo and Consortium Board Member and Planeta winemaker , Alessio Planeta
Sicilia DOC also hosted a tasting lunch for top US media at L’Artusi in the West Village of New York presenting a selection of eight single-varietal Sicilia DOC wines, all representing the multiple facets of Sicily. Sicilia DOC’s Brand Ambassador and wine expert, Jeff Porter, hosted the tasting lunch together with Rallo and Planeta. The tasting lunch highlighted how the return to local native grape varieties, specifically Grillo, had made Sicily one of the most interesting Italian wine regions today.
“Thanks to this series of events, we had the opportunity to meet industry professionals and narrate many different stories about our Sicily, a wine region that stands out for the perpetual tension between past and present- a story that has been very challenging for our us, yet so rewarding to experience and, ultimately, to share,” said Antonio Rallo.
“We’re thrilled to see participation and interest growing towards our official competition, especially amongst a critically important young audience,” adds Alessio Planeta, “Our wines continue to gain recognition and this year’s competition confirmed that we are experiencing a great moment for Sicilian wines in the US.”
About Sicilia DOC
Established in 2011, the Sicilia DOC Consortium and the producers represent centuries of winemaking history, as well as the future of viticulture on the island. Positioned as the crossroads of the Mediterranean, the region is truly a mosaic of terroirs, cultures, culinary traditions, and very interestingly, fine wines. Sicilia DOC supports the enhancement of quality-driven winemaking and local grape varieties, specifically Nero d’Avola and Grillo, ensuring a genuine representation of the land in each bottle. The Consortium’s sustainable approach is also promoted by the SOStain foundation which provides growers with educational tools to embrace organic practices. For further information, please visit winesofsicily.com
About Colangelo & Partners
Colangelo & Partners specializes in premium food, wine and spirits brands, and has long-established relationships with the key press that drive these business categories and help determine the industry leaders. Agency principals have years of experience in retail and distribution as well as communications, a rare combination that gives Colangelo & Partners invaluable insights into consumer purchasing behavior. The agency focuses on “closing the loop” between creative communications programs, distribution, promotion, publicity and the consumer in order to maximize the efficiency of its communications programs and deliver measurable results. http://www.colangelopr.com/
Karla Ravagnolo, Colangelo & Partners, (646) 624-2885, email@example.com
SOURCE Sicilia DOC