Organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam – ICHAM and the Consorzio Tutela Vini d’Abruzzo, the Abruzzo Wine on Tour Hanoi event took place successfully on March 13, 2023, featuring a 3-in-1 combination (Abruzzo Wine Brand Ambassador Contest in Vietnam + Masterclass + B2B Mission). The event is honored to receive the patronage of the Embassy of Italy in Hanoi and supported by its Technical Partners: Saigon Sommeliers Association (SSA) and Hanoi Vino Club (HVC).
Attending the event were HE. Antonio Alessandro – Italian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr. Francesco Arcuri – Head of the Economic and Commercial Section, Embassy of Italy in Hanoi. Representing two organizers were Mr. Davide Acerra – Marketing Manager, Representative of Consorzio Tutela Vini d’Abruzzo, and Mr. Tran Thanh Quyet – Executive Director of ICHAM. The event received support and advice from Mr. Tu Le Huy, President of the Saigon Sommeliers Association (SSA), and Mr. To Viet, President of Hanoi Vino Club (HVC). The event also welcomed a large number of contestants, sommeliers and experts in the wine field and representatives of wine importers and distributors in the Northern region of Vietnam.
Abruzzo Wine Brand Ambassador Contest in Vietnam
The event opened with the Abruzzo Wine Brand Ambassador Contest in Vietnam. After 3 parts of multiple-choice test – blind tasting section – intensive blind tasting section, the Board of Judges had found the winner – Mr. Vu Duc Linh, Chief Sommelier of Da Loc Co., Ltd., and a member of Saigon Sommelier Association (SSA). Thereby, Mr. Linh will receive a fully-funded trip to the Abruzzo region, directly experience and learn about the traditional wine production environment of Abruzzo.
Sharing his feelings, Mr. Vu Duc Linh expressed his deep passion for wine and thanked the Organizers for hosting the contest and masterclass, both of which gave him the opportunities to learn more about wine and the Abruzzo wine region. In his comment, the Abruzzo region in general and Abruzzo wine in particular is a relatively new subject for the Vietnamese wine market, there is still much to learn in order for the Vietnamese market to understand the characteristics and value of this wine region. He expressed his excitement and looked forward to the upcoming trip so that he can experience it fully and realistically.
Masterclass “Montepulciano d’Abruzzo”
Immediately following was the Masterclass event, led by Mr. Tu Le Huy, President of the Saigon Sommelier Association (SSA). During the lesson, attendees were informed about the characteristics of the Abruzzo wine region, climatic conditions, soil, and introduction of specific grape varieties and varieties. In addition, attendees also tasted and evaluated fine Montepulciano D’Abruzzo wines from 9 different producers.
Parallel to the Masterclass event was the B2B mission where Vietnamese wine importers and distributors met and exchanged directly with 9 Abruzzo wine producers, tasted their products and looked into cooperation opportunities to bring typical wine products of the Abruzzo region to Vietnamese consumers. The session noted nearly 80 B2B meetings with active, enthusiastic participation from both parties, giving many positive and realistic signals on the prospect of Abruzzo wine import and export.
A closer look into Abruzzo
Abruzzo is a region in central Italy, one of the oldest and most crucial wine-producing regions in Italy, with a long winemaking tradition that dates back for centuries. Through the course of history, wine production spread throughout the region and concentrated around the hills and coastal areas, thereby allowing a rapid and marked growth in wine’s quantity and quality, which contributed greatly to the growth of the region. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of new producers, in the past decades, the region’s indigenous grape varieties have been able to gain prominent positions in international and national competitions.
In 2022, Abruzzo received the prestigious Wine Oscar Award – “Wine Region of the Year” voted by the world’s leading magazine on wine – Wine Enthusiast:
“This region is rich in tradition and imbued with innovation, a hidden gem for wine connoisseurs.”
Let’s take a look at the characteristics of the Abruzzo wine region, to find out how the owner of the Wine Oscar 2022 won its title.
In terms of nature, the Abruzzo region is blessed with a natural topography and climate suitable for viticulture: terrain with 65% mountainous area and warm and dry coastal climate; continental climate with warm summers and cool winters. Bordered by the Gran Sasso Massif and the Adriatic Sea, it also has many nature reserves and national parks. This ensures a mild climate, creating the best environment for growing and producing high-quality grapes.
Furthermore, Abruzzo wine production maintained sustainable criteria (of organic production), including environmental, economic, and social impact. Organic viticulture is environmentally friendly and vineyards also provide a green lung of enormous environmental value. Wine production is one of the major drivers of the region’s economy, helping keep a permanent population in the rural areas. Moreover, wines are produced using traditional techniques that keep agricultural traditions as well as wine culture alive.
The wines of the Abruzzo region are diverse, with varieties for everyone. The region’s most popular wines include the red Montepulciano, white Trebbiano, Cerasuolo rosé made from Montepulciano grapes, and other interesting wines that come from other varieties.
The Consorzio Tutela Vini d’Abruzzo (Consortium for the Protection of Wines of Abruzzo) is a non-profit association, made up of all the entities forming part of the control system, which aims to protect, enhance and take care of the interests relating to the controlled designations of origin of the regional territory. It currently associates with about 200 wineries.