Vinitaly 2018. Around Italy in one day
Vinitaly, the most important wine fair in Italy. A little by chance this year, I found myself obliged to go around the pavilions in just one day. It was an incredible experience.
Almost a pavilion for each region. It seems like a simple, logical and practical thing, both for wine producers and for users. And I realized that every pavilion welcomes you with its particular atmosphere, its smells, its layouts, its people. In each one a particular environment that is breathed there and in no other pavilion. Each of them has his own personality.
The more you travel to the north, the more frequent are the stands surrounded by blind walls, with a single strictly guarded opening, which is only exceeded if you are on the watch list. Some installations show the interior layout with transparent or perforated walls, but in other cases, near the entrance, a sort of filter compartment that does not even guess what goes on inside. Many stands are on two floors, with ground floor accessible to the general public and the upper floor reserved for a few.
The best-known brands are often more concerned with secreting their interiors than the image they produce inside the pavilion. The stand only acts as a container rather than as a manifesto of the company, now that the name belongs to the small Olympus.
Usually the north has the finest and most refined materials, exhibiting luxury and pomp. The south often uses poor materials without renouncing elegance and essentiality, exhibiting a strong link with the territory. One of the most beautiful stand constructions of the entire fair, was that of the Consorzio dell'Etna. Elegant and raw at the same time. Using only two materials: an opaque black as a neutral background and a modular grid, made of light wood elements, which allowed very varied articulations of the space, now becoming shelving, now wall, now totem, now counter. Each unit, reserved for a single producer, had the same elements, which he could however customize as he liked, inserting bottles, graphics, objects, photos and materials, playing with the various modules.
The Emilia Romagna pavilion seemed a joke. A fake lawn carpet covered the floor of the entire building, and from above the ceiling hung sheets left free to move in the wind. The result was a relaxed and chaotic atmosphere. Perhaps, due to the absence of heavy partitions, even the background noise was much more evident, but without annoying and rather accentuating the festive atmosphere that pervaded the space.
The Campania, perhaps due to the lack of space, was forced to divide the entire space very rationally, but each producer could have his own little box. Many cubicles heavily characterized by the color chosen for the province. But the identity of every single company could still perceive itself, guaranteed by the people inside it.
In general, the southern center was also characterized by stronger odors, which spread from food and raw materials, but also from lands and clays brought directly from the territory of belonging. The people behind the counters were much more willing to offer their wines, where the pride for their product exceeded the fear of consuming too much.
Tell me what label you have and I'll tell you what Region you are
Even the turn of the Italian wine labels in one day, has reserved its surprises. The far north experiments with elegance. While the north never abandons tradition, and innovation is always aimed at the simplicity and effectiveness of a few well thought out graphic elements.
The South launches itself in innovation and above all in experimenting with new languages, without renouncing tradition, with a sort of neo primitivism that peaches in the most ancient origins, full of meanings. Puglia in the lead, to follow Sicily and Sardinia.
The Campania is launched on the fashionist but never betraying their identity.
Lazio remains the most traditional, reluctant to abandon the almost Piranesian image that has characterized it for decades, afraid of losing this borrowed identity that now feels its own.
Beautiful stay until the closing time of the fair, with the public now out, and see the closure of the various stands by the producers. The row of empty bottles on the ground, prepared to be taken away by the employees, and count the wine offered during the day, almost with sadness.