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Tasting opportunity: the wines of Friuli

I thought I'd draw the attention of wineanorak readers to a tasting opportunity. It's a rare chance to try the wines from some 41 Friuli producers, and if you have the opportunity to attend, I'd urge you to make this one a priority. Press release and information are reproduced below. Jamie Goode

SUPERWHITES

The Great White Wines of Friuli 
Selected by Slow Food Friuli for Wines Lovers Everywhere
18th October 2003 
@ The Jolly Hotel St Ermin's, Caxton Street, St James's, London SW1

 As 'super reds' are to Tuscany, 'super whites' are to Friuli and it is in this vein that Slow Food Friuli created SuperWhites an event dedicated to the tasting and enjoyment of over one hundred and twenty of the best white wines and gastronomic specialities from the region.

 For the first time, this extraordinary international Slow Food event will take place in Britain on Saturday the 18th October at The Jolly Hotel St Ermin's in London when forty-one of the region's producers will give wine lovers a chance to taste many wines that are not yet available in the UK, along with the opportunity to meet the men and women who make Friuli Venezia Giulia a world-class wine region.

The SuperWhites Grand Tasting will also feature a tasting buffet of the region's typical specialities and traditional dishes, prepared by visiting chef, Alessio Devide, from Guido Lazellotti's osteria, ALTRAN. Additionally, wine lovers may choose from a flight of seven internationally acclaimed Slow Food Taste Workshops, each led by experts from Italy.  (Pre-booking recommended.) These feature the region's different wine varietals and styles, including Tocai, Friuli's historic master white wine; Blends & Monovarietals; and Sweet Wines, showcasing the region's great dessert wines ~ among them the legendary Picolit.

According to Giulio Colomba, International Vice President of Slow Food and founder of Slow Food Friuli, "Superwhites is an informal and convivial event and we invite Londoners to simply enjoy the wines from our region as they were intended - with good food and in good company."

Superwhites is being hosted by Slow Food London in conjunction with The Jolly Hotel St Ermin's as part of our programme of international exchange. Funds raised will go to Slow Food London to support our ongoing efforts to promote Britain's local and regional producers and our taste education programme.

For more information and a copy of the programme:

http://www.slowfood.com/eng/sf_eventi/sf_eventi.lasso

Ticket Prices
Admission to Grand Tasting (incl. buffet):            

In advance: 30.00         (20.00 for Slow Food members)

At the door: 35.00        (25.00 for Slow Food members)

Taste Workshops:                    10.00 per person (per workshop)

To book, contact:
Silvija Davidson, Slow Food London
T: 07740 940 919 Email: silvija@btinternet.com
Wendy Fogarty, Slow Food London
T: 07712 842 777 Email: wfogarty@compuserve.com

About Friuli Venezia Giulia
Friuli Venezia Giulia nestles in the northeastern corner of Italy sharing borders with Slovenia and Austria.  It is bounded to the north and east by the mountains that shape its climate, protecting it from cold north winds. Relatively high rainfall and the sea to the south ensure a limited range of temperature variation through the year over most of the region's territory.

Viticulture and wine have ancient roots that go back to the Roman army's practice of assigning to retiring legionaries a small sum of money, a plot of land, some seeds and a few vines.   Aquileia, near the Adriatic sea, was for centuries the second city of the Roman Empire and around it, there grew up a thriving culture of wine. Today, vines are cultivated all over the Friulian plain and cover the region's hillslopes as high as the climatic conditions and soil types will allow. Since the late 70s, Friulian wines have enjoyed immense prestige, a reputation earned above all by the whites.

The introduction of temperature-controlled vinification techniques has made it possible to conserve in the bottle all the rich aromas of the freshly-harvested fruit and the success of these wines has radically transformed the profile of Friuli's vine stock. Today, white varieties account for more than 60% of total production in hillslope vineyards while on the flatlands, plantings of white and red vines are more or less comparable. The SuperWhites project was inspired by Slow Food's desire to bring to consumers' attention the superb quality of the white wines made in Friuli.

A large number of different vine varieties are cultivated in the region. Some are internationally known; others are native grapes exclusive to the region but all express their characteristics to the full in Friuli. As we hope to demonstrate here at this event, Friuli is truly a land of great white wines.

About Slow Food
Slow Food is an eco-gastronomic movement founded in 1989 in reaction to the growth of fast food culture and out of concern for the impact that convenience is having on global bio-diversity and culinary heritage. At the heart of the movement is a philosophy that aims to protect and to celebrate good food as a reflection of regional culture, skill and tradition. Slow Food is now active in 45 countries worldwide with over 65,000 members including more than 1,000 in the UK, where there are 16 convivia (local groups) in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

General Enquiries:       0800 917 1232. www.slowfood.com

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