The 27th edition of the Vermentino Prize in Diano Castello
After the 15th August threshold it seems that the climate changes and the seasonal fruits turn golden. In fact, it is precisely in this period that the grapes reach maturity, preparing for the September harvest. To celebrate the event for years, Diano Castello has dedicated a national award to its most famous grape variety: the Vermentino Prize, which will be held this year on 28 and 29 August.
Let’s see what the 2020 program has in store for us.
Vermentino in Diano Castello
For the uninitiated, Vermentino is, together with Pigato, the king of white wines in Liguria. This white grape variety is also grown in Sardinia, Corsica, Tuscany and, of course, in Liguria. Due to its resistance to calcareous soils, not very fertile and dry, it is perfectly suited to the Ligurian coast, where the wind and salt give this wine intense aromas and the characteristic flavour. How Vermentino arrived in Diano Castello is still not certain. According to some theories it would have arrived in Liguria from the Iberian Peninsula, through Provence; others claim, however, that Vermentino landed on the Ligurian coasts from Anatolia, thanks to the work of Genoese traders, around the fourteenth century.
What is certain is that in Diano Castello this vine has found its ideal soil, producing a white wine with an intense yellow color, persistent and balanced aromas, to be savored with Ligurian vegetable recipes but, above all, perfect with fish.
History of the Vermentino Award by Diano Castello
Born in 1994, the Vermentino di Diano Castello Prize has now reached its 27th edition and is the longest-running of the events dedicated to this white wine. The idea arose from the need to promote a reality that is now established, but not entirely known. Diano Castello, in fact, is to be considered one of the Italian “cradles” of the famous vine: from the hills of the Diano area, starting from the fourteenth century, Vermentino began to take root in Italian wine history.
The event is promoted by the municipality of Diano Castello which, among its collaborators, sees the participation of the Riviere di Liguria Special Company and the Regional Enoteca of Liguria, as well as enjoying the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Liguria Region, and of important bodies such as the Chamber of Commerce of the Riviere di Liguria, the Prefecture and the Province of Imperia, the Gal Riviera dei Fiori, the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy Association and the National Oil Cities Association.
The goal of the event is to involve at least forty labels from areas where Vermentino production is solid, such as Sardinia and Tuscany. The wineries will be judged by a jury made up of eight sommeliers, chaired by the well-known food and wine journalist Paolo Massobrio.
But there are still many activities planned: tastings open to the public, exhibition of wines produced by the participating wineries, guided tours, refreshment points, etc.
Furthermore, as per tradition, a twinning with a red wine is planned. The guest of the 2020 edition of the Vermentino Award will be the Municipality of Neive, in the Langhe, with its Bottega dei 4 vini. Neive is, like Diano Castello, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, but the similarities do not stop there. To unite the two villages is, in fact, the passion for the ball punch. The two teams, the Neivese and the local team Amici del Castello, will compete for the Vermentino Cup at the Quaglia sphaeristerium.
Let’s now see in detail the program of the two days dedicated to Vermentino wine.
16:30. Concordia Theatre. Vermentino, an excellence of the territory: in-depth analysis with producers and professionals, Paolo Massobrio, and an intervention on rural development projects promoted by Gal Riviera dei Fiori.
17:00. Guided tour of the historic center, organized by the Giroborgo Association. Meeting at the loggia in Via Meloria.
18:00. Concordia Theatre. Wine tasting with Paolo Massobrio and the Fisar-Ais sommeliers.
20:00. Concordia Theatre. Popular jury meeting.
9.15 pm. Massone Square. Show “Stories of men and wines”.
8:30 am. Guided hiking tour along the paths around Diano Castello. Meeting at the loggia in via Meloria.
11:00 am. Guided tour of the historic centre, organized by the Giroborgo Association. Meeting at the Loggiato in via Meloria.
16:00. Concordia Theatre. Taste the Liguria Show: DOP Genoese Basil, Ligurian Riviera DOP Oil and DOP Ligurian Wines on stage.
18:30. Award ceremony and delivery of the flag of the most beautiful villages in Italy and the cities of oil.
9.15 pm. Parish Church of San Nicola. Show “Let’s tell the lies”.
Friday 28 August, from 17:30 to 23:00 and Saturday 29 August, from 12:00 to 23:00:
• display of the bottles of Vermentino (Concordia theatre)
• wine tasting