The FIVI Independent Winegrowers’ Wine Market Makes Its Debut at BolognaFiere: A Unique Wine Experience
By Carol Agostini
The prestigious setting of BolognaFiere welcomed the debut of the FIVI Independent Winegrowers’ Wine Market from 25 to 27 November 2023. This event, promoted by the Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti (Italian Federation of Independent Winegrowers), brought more than a thousand exhibitors from every corner of Italy to the lively city of Bologna for the first time, creating an unprecedented wine experience.
In an area of over 30,000 square metres, the event embraced the authenticity of the wines presented by FIVI member wineries, offering enthusiasts and the curious the chance to immerse themselves in a sensory journey through territorial excellence.
This edition, characterised by an innovative spirit and expansion into new, bright spaces, was an affirmation of Italian wine diversity. Not just a fair, but a meeting point between producers and the public, where wine becomes a universal language, linking identities, landscapes and traditions.
The event was also the occasion for the presentation of the ‘Leonildo Pieropan’ Award, an award dedicated to the memory of one of the founders of FIVI. This year, the honour was bestowed on Emidio Pepe of the Torano Nuovo winery in Abruzzo, a symbolic figure for the entire region. The award was presented at the Members’ Assembly on 27 November 2023, celebrating Pepe’s legacy and commitment to shaping wine growing in Abruzzo.
With more than 8,000 wines for tasting, the fair offered visitors the chance to get to know the work of independent winemakers at first hand, while also allowing the purchase of wines with a shipping service available.
The president of BolognaFiere, Gianpiero Calzolari, emphasised the growing importance of Bologna as a centre for food and wine and environment-related events. Lorenzo Cesconi, president of FIVI, expressed satisfaction at bringing this event to Bologna for the first time, enhancing the city and creating a privileged meeting space for producers and wine enthusiasts.
The Wine Market of the Independent Winegrowers FIVI turned out to be not only an opportunity to discover the diversity and authenticity of Italian wines, but also a point of convergence between passion for the territory and love for the nectar of Bacchus, demonstrating how the example of figures such as Emidio Pepe continues to inspire and leave an indelible mark on the world of wine.
Who is Emidio Pepe?
“Yes, I started
with this very idea.
Taken from ‘Let’s keep young, life and wine of Emidio Pepe”.
Emidio Pepe: The Guardian of Abruzzo’s Traditions and Wines
Back in 1964, Emidio Pepe laid the foundations of his wine company, following in the footsteps of his father and especially his grandfather, who had been producing wine at the Pepe house since 1899. He was one of the first to firmly believe in the extraordinary qualities of Trebbiano and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, dedicating all his energies to these two indigenous grape varieties and demonstrating their amazing capacity for ageing, introducing them to the world.
Born in 1932, Emidio Pepe is a man of few words, but of extraordinary tenacity and observation. His values are firm, his ideas precise. A tireless worker, he still personally looks after every single vineyard, from pruning to harvesting. His attention to nature’s signals is impeccable, the fruit of more than half a century of experience: he observes them, interprets them and follows them without altering them, thus preserving the terroir that he has always carefully guarded.
A defender of traditional principles, from the very beginning Emidio Pepe has tenaciously protected his lands and wines from chemicals, basing his work on empirical experience and respect for ancient traditions, which are reflected in the authenticity and genuineness of his wines.
Event within the event
Three days of parallel activities in addition to the tasting with outstanding master classes:
“Vigna della Congregazione”: Fiano di Avellino according to Villa Diamante
The first-born son of Villa Diamante, “Vigna della Congregazione” – named after the land on which the vine is planted, once the property of the Church – is by far one of the longest-lived white wines of the company founded in 1996 from the dream of Diamante and Antoine, now continued by their daughter Serena with the precious help of her mother. A wine that now represents a reference point for Fiano and for the entire oenology of Irpinia.
Producer Serena Gaita talks to Luigi Maffini (Vignaiolo in Campania).
Fiano di Avellino DOCG ‘Vigna della Congregazione’ 2017/18/19/20/21
Everyone calls it Lambrusco
Beyond all clichés, Lambrusco is an authentic hymn to joy. Camillo Favaro, a winegrower in Piedmont and a great expert on Burgundy wines, discovered it almost by chance, but fell in love with it to the point of writing a book about it. Dialoguing with some producers from the province of Modena, he will take us to discover the many nuances of this vine, between traditions and glances towards the future.
Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC “LaRiserva” 2021 – Paltrinieri
Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC “Federico” – Cavaliera
Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC Metodo Ancestrale “Baby Magnum” 2021 – Marchesi di Ravarino
Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC “Canova” – Fattoria Moretto
Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC Classic Method Brut Nature “Ring Adora” Rosé 2018 – Podere il Saliceto
“U Baccan”, the Pigato that defies time
A strict selection of the oldest vines in the estate’s vineyards, “U Baccan” – “il capo” in Ligurian dialect – is one of the most important and well-known expressions of Pigato, and shows the vocation of this grape variety to produce a wine with great personality, which proves “in the field” that it has excellent ageing capabilities. Riccardo Bruna was one of the pioneers of Pigato, bottling it since the early Seventies: affectionately called “U Baccan”, with this wine the family carries on its memory, in the concreteness of many vintages.
Producer Roberto Germani talks with Paolo Trimani (wine shop in Rome and Vignaiolo nel Lazio).
Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC “U Baccan” 2016/17/19/20/21
Emotions from Vulture: the ‘Damaschito’ of Grifalco
A single cru, in the heart of Vulture; Aglianico vines over seventy years old; scrupulous vinification and about two years of barrel ageing. This is how Damaschito di Grifalco was born, one of the Aglianico versions of the Venosa winery, which has decided since its foundation to dedicate itself exclusively to this ancient vine.
Producer Andrea Piccin talks to Angela Fronti (Vignaiola in Toscana).
Aglianico del Vulture Superiore DOCG “Damaschito” 2015/16/17/18/19
During the event, a complete pavilion was reserved for the food sector, while the central gallery housed the partners and sponsors of the Wine Market, together with the institutional stand of the FIVI. Here, visitors had the opportunity to purchase the famous t-shirts and other gadgets signed by the Vignaioli Indipendenti.
The Italian Federation of Independent Winegrowers: The Heart of the Protection of Artisanal Producers
In the vast panorama of artisanal wines, one often runs the risk of getting lost in the precise identification of producers who fall into this category. How to classify them? How to preserve them?
The answer to this challenge has been developed by the Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti (FIVI), a non-profit organisation founded in 2008 with the primary objective of representing and protecting wine producers in their relations with institutions. Since then, the organisation has seen steady growth, both in the number of members – now over 1,000 – and in the trust that its brand has instilled in consumers eager for an informed approach to the world of wine.
The Origin and Evolution of FIVI
It all began in 2006, when the new text for the Common Market Organisation (CMO) for wine in Europe was issued. This document, regulating the wine sector, presented a gap in the protection of independent winegrowers. In 2008, the Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti (Italian Federation of Independent Winegrowers) was officially born with its constituent assembly, chaired by Costantino Charrère, a producer from Valle d’Aosta.
From the beginning, FIVI joined the European Confederation of Independent Winegrowers (CEVI), the grouping of national organisations of European winegrowers. The reasons behind its birth lie in the disinterest of the institutions and sectoral lobbies towards artisanal producers, which over the years have seen a diminishing focus on the quality of raw materials.
FIVI: The Voice of Independent Winegrowers in the Wine World.
Origins and Mission
The origin of FIVI dates back to 2006, when the Common Market Organisation (CMO) for wine in Europe was redefined. This new regulatory framework lacked a focus on the protection of independent winemakers, prompting the official birth of the Federation in 2008. Since then, the association has welcomed over 1,000 members, upholding the philosophy of wine production linked to terroir and sustainability.
Objectives and Role
FIVI is committed to promoting the figure of the independent winegrower, emphasising the importance of production linked to the territory of origin of the grapes. The association does not limit its membership to the production of natural or organic wines, but rather emphasises the independence and direct management of the production and commercial process by the winemaker.
Requirements and Success
Membership of FIVI requires adherence to the fundamental principles of independent production, where the producer is the custodian of his own land, grapes and final product. The organisation has grown steadily over the years, representing a growing movement that seeks the protection and valorisation of artisanal wineries.
Events and Initiatives
One of FIVI’s key initiatives is the Independent Winegrowers’ Wine Market, an event that offers the chance to discover, taste and buy directly from its member producers. The most recent edition attracted over 20,000 people, confirming the event’s crucial role as a meeting point for wine enthusiasts and experts.
Future and Role in the Wine Panorama
The FIVI confirms itself as an authoritative voice in the defence of artisanal production, aiming to raise awareness towards a conscious and responsible consumption of wine, promoting the values of the territory and the independence of producers. With an eye to the future, the organisation continues to expand its network, involving more and more producers and enthusiasts in the world of Italian artisanal wine.