The following is the text of a talk Roberto gave at Vinitaly a while back to 40 highly esteemed wine producers from all over Italy (which received a standing ovation):
“I have been asked to comment on what changes I have seen in the last fifteen years of coming to VinItaly. I would say that in that time the average quality of wines across the board has increased by three fold. BUT, the average conformity of style has increased ten fold and you must realize that in the future, when all wines taste the same, only the cheapest will get sold.
I blame this situation on two people: Robert Parker who evidently only likes ONE kind of wine and Luca Maroni who evidently does not like wine at all but only ‘pure fruit’ and therefore should redirect his efforts to becoming the world’s foremost critic of gelato where that is the point and not waste his time on wine which should be a TRANSFORMATION of mere fruit into something much more interesting.
I beg of you that, when you return to your zonas next week, you seek out the oldest person in your village and talk to them in dialect, not Italian, about just what it was that made your village different (and therefore, of course, better!) than the village five kilometers down the road when that person was a child. Then, go out in your vineyards, taste the actual dirt, smell the wind and see that it is different in your hillside than on your neighbor’s and look very closely between the rows and see that there are NO reverse osmosis machines and NO paddle fermenters and NO barriques and NO spinning cones growing there. And then promise yourself that next vintage you will make truly ITALIAN wine…..the world will love you and reward you for it!”