It’s not usual for me to write about an event that has been and gone, but there’s always an exception to the rule. And of course, the fine wines i shall be describing can be enjoyed at any time.
During the last weekend in May, the beautiful palazzo Real Collegio behind San Frediano Church in Lucca hosted a special event.
The Anteprima Vini della Costa Toscana has been a low key, annual event in Lucca for the past nine years. But this year was different. For the first time the event was open to the public.
The Anteprima is a presentation of wines from the Tuscan Coast. Provinces along the Mediterranean Coast. That principate include Massa Carrara, Lucca, Pisa, Livorno/Bolgheri and Grosseto. Like the french tradition of en primeur, the event allows consumer sto taste wines before they are released into the market. This tradition has esiste in Bordeaux for centuries and is occasionally used in other French and Italian areas. Currently there is a big push to develop the en primeur market in Italy.
Over the years in Italy the Anteprima has been only for a privileged few, but as part of campaign to promote Tuscan coastal wines this year, the event was opened to the public on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. There was a small entrance fee wich included the ubiquitous wineglass in pouch around neck for tasting, and then it was open season on a range of wonderful wines.
One display and available for tasting were more than 70 red wines from the Tuscan coastal region (unfortunately white wine lovers would have to sit this on out).
Wine producers included the likes of Fattoria Buonamico, Tenuta Maria Teresa, and Fattoria di Fubbiano from Lucca province and Campo alla Sughera, Grattamacco, and Tenuta San Guido from around Bolgheri, just to name a few.
Rich in the traditional sangiovese grape grown throughout the coastal area, there were also some wines blended with merlot, cabernet and syrah grown locally.
Along with the finale of crowing the Best Sommelier in Tuscany for 2009 Andrea Balleri, from grotta Giusti in Monsummano Terme, the weekend hosted wine seminars, wine tastings, and also included a display of wine paraphernalia and “wine design”, glasses, cork sculptures, carafes and corkscrews object dedicated to the world of wine.
There were so many wines and so little time, as they say.
The promoters, the Associazione Grandi Cru della Costa Toscana (www.grandicru.it) are looking to make this an annual event in Lucca.
By all appearances the inaugural Anteprima looked to be a successful weekend. This wine tasting is certainly worth marking in the calendar for next year.
Newsflash: last month at the Syrah du Monde ( the International competion of best Syrah in the world) local Lucca Winery Tenuta Lenzini was awarded the best Syrah in Italy for its 2007 vintage.


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