By Cynthia Chaplin IWA
Our last day in Taormina, as the Taormina Gourmet event drew to a close. The morning saw VIA Ambassadors participating in short sessions on Franciacorta, Etna Bianco and winemakers under 30. After lunch we all made the most of the walk around tasting space, showcasing 50 top wineries from all over Italy. The Guide to Etna wines, published by Cronache di Gusto was a welcome parting gift, great preparation for the next few days visiting wineries on Etna. Everyone paid close attention to the awards ceremony at 5pm, picking out our favourite producers, wineries we will visit in the following days, and the winning wines we all want to taste.
After the drive to Linguaglossa, we were privileged to have dinner at Statella Park with 5 producers from the region, along with several Italian journalists. An endless spread of food included buffalo ricotta, thin strips of roasted donkey meat, prickly pears and many more interesting dishes, too numerous to list. Producers generously provided a variety of their wines, which allowed us all to calibrate our palates to Etna. Best of all, it was a relaxed evening of chatting with colleagues, sharing experiences and thoughts from Taormina Gourmet, networking and bonding for our VIA community. Best moment? Raising our glasses to celebrate Andrea Eby IWA for her happy result in the Master of Wine Theory exam. Congratulations once again!