Experience Italy’s Slow Food and Slow Wine Movement: An Earth Month Invitation #ItalianFWT

Slow Wine Guide 2022

Can food be a bridge to peace? The Slow Wine Coalition, as part of the wider Slow Food network, believes it can: “through inclusion and exchange, we can cultivate a better future together.” 

The Slow Wine Coalition started in Italy inspired by the Slow Food Movement which began in 1986 after a “demonstration on the intended site of a McDonald’s at the Spanish Steps in Rome.” Since then,the movement advocates “a comprehensive approach to food that recognizes the strong connections between plate, planet, people, politics and culture.”

“Speed became our shackles. We fell prey to the same virus: ‘the fast life.’”

How do we find peace and freedom? Slow down! Share organic food and wine!

According to the Slow Food website, “Slow Food believes that wine, just as with food, must be good, clean, and fair — not just good.”

As an agricultural product, wine impacts the place where grapes grow and the lives of those who produce it.

Conventional wine production means pesticides, herbicides and excessive resource  consumption.

With both online and published texts as well as an international tour, masterclasses, and other events (see below), The Slow Wine Guide supports and promotes winemakers “using traditional techniques, working with respect for the environment and terroir, and safeguarding the incredible biodiversity of grape varieties that are part of Italy’s heritage.”

Below are a few of the highlights for me from the Slow Wine Guide Tour in San Francisco Jan. 24 2022:

The annual Slow Wine Guide considers wine quality, adherence to terroir, value for money, and environmental sensitivity. Wineries that use herbicides, pesticides, and petroleum based fertilizers for example are not allowed.

The Slow Wine Guide for Italy reviews more than 2,500 wines and 300 cellars offering a comprehensive guide of Italian wines available in three languages: German, Italian, and English. Find the latest edition here.

So how does a winery make the Slow Wine Guide? From Italy, we have The Slow Food Manifesto for Good, Clean, and Fair Wine which says to be considered for inclusion, Italian wineries should:

  • grow a minimum of 70% of their grapes, with a few exceptions.
  • refuse to use chemically synthesized fertilizers, herbicides or anti-botrytis fungicides
  • approach winemaking sustainably
  • use “natural” winemaking techniques 
  • avoid enhancements like oak chips
  • use only the low levels of sulfites allowed by the organic standard of the EU
  • reflect their place of origin
  • encourage biodiversity
  • create a supportive community

Slow Wine Manifesto

This April, I’m leading the the Italian Food Wine Travel group of wine writers into an investigation of Slow Food and Slow Wine (see below for details) which builds on the March prompt to write about organic and natural wine (read more here, including an explication of the differences between organic, biodynamic, and natural wines).

This March, you’re also invited to learn how winemakers, distributors, merchants and enthusiasts can ensure that wine contributes to the cultural rebirth of the countryside, protects the environment and promotes social justice. Register for three ONLINE sessions March 22, 23, and 24 about the future of good, clean, and fair wine with The Slow Wine Coalition in advance of the Sana Slow Wine Fair in Bologna from March 27-29, 2022.  Links to register below. Click here to visit the press area  All conferences will be translated in English and French.

Wine production: a powerful ally of ecological transition – March 22 at 6 p.m. CET

At the center of the debate, the challenges posed by ecological transition and the production of wine, and the tools at hand to face these challenges: good practices for real environmental sustainability. Among the speakers: Florence Fontaine, Université Reims Champagne-Ardennes; Bernard Nicolardot, AgroSup Dijon; Isabella Ghiglieno, Dicatam, University of Brescia; Marco Tonni, Sata studio agronomico, Brescia; Paolo Marucco, Disafa, University of Turin; Moderator: Maurizio Gily, viticulture consultant and teacher at UNISG Pollenzo. Click here to register.

Fair wine: from the agricultural community to workers – March 23 at 6 p.m. CET

A conference to explore the social and cultural role of winemakers as drivers of economic growth, thanks to their virtuous relationship with their workers and their local communities. Among the speakers: Claudio Naviglia, CEO and co-founder of Humus Job; Carolina Alvarado, winemaker from Valparaíso, Chile, and President of Slow Food Chile; Gianluca Brunori, economist and Professor of Food Policy at the University of Pisa. Click here to register.

Winemakers, vines, wines and landscapes – March 24 at 6 p.m. CET

A conference to outline the role of wineries in protecting the landscape and safeguarding natural resources and biodiversity. Among the speakers: Marina Santos, winemaker from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; Francesco Valentini, winemaker from Abruzzo, Italy; Viviana Ferrario, Associate Professor in Geography at IUAV, Venice. Click here to register.

If you can get to Bologna Italy, you’re invited to attend The Slow Wine Coalition Plenary Assembly,  on March 27 at 9 am which will retrace the steps that led to the creation of the Slow Wine Coalition and explore the potential development of this international network with Carlo Petrini, founder and President of Slow Food. During the Fair participants and professionals can attend several Masterclasses to discover terroirs and wines from around the world, as well as meetings in the Slow Wine Arena where the Slow Wine Coalition addresses the main challenges the wine world faces. Here you find all the practical information on tickets and times.


You’re invited to join Italian Food Wine Travel during Earth Month this April 2022 to celebrate Slow Wine and Slow Food!

  1. You have a month to find one or more wines from Italy that celebrate the Slow Wine ethos, preferably a wine from the Slow Wine Guide, to pair with a food the celebrates the concept behind the Slow Food Movement. I am working to get pdfs of the 2021 Guide to participants; comment below and/or email me if you are interested gwendolynalley AT yahoo DOT com.
  2. The wine can be from any grape in any style– red, white, rose, orange, sparkling, sweet– and from any region in Italy. 
  3. An emphasis this month is on pairing Slow Wines with Slow Foods; please share your pairings, lessons learned, successes and failures.
  4. Sponsored posts and sample wines are fine as long as they are identified as such.
  5. We love to read about the stories behind the wine and why you chose it, but this month is it particularly important to learn more about how the grapes are grown.
  6. We love to learn about travel to that region of Italy where your wine came from.
  7. During March, get your title to me by email, comment below, or post in the Facebook event under the title thread before Tuesday EOD 3/29/22 please. 
  8. From Friday April 1 at 8am to Saturday April 2 at 8am please publish your post and include #ItalianFWT in the title of your article.
  9. Append to your post the provided preliminary HTML to link to other participants.
  10. Join our 8am Pacific twitter chat on Sat. April 2 by following the hashtag #ItalianFWT. Prompts will be posted here at Wine Predator in the Preview Post the day before.
  11. Read around, comment, and share each other’s posts about Italy’s Slow Food, Slow Wine Movement.
  12. As soon as it is available, add the final HTML to your post which links to participants’ published posts.

Have fun! Email me with any questions: gwendolynalleyATyahooDOTcom.


PS Let’s travel!

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