I was quite undecided whether to write something about the Coronaviruswhich I am sure you already hear about practically all day long. In Italy we are at 3,089 cases107 deaths and 276 cured. Alarming is the situation in Emilia-Romagna, which out of just 2,500 swabs recorded 544 positives (1 in 4) and 22 deaths. In Lombardy, 12,138 swabs were taken with 1820 cases (1 in 7) and 73 deaths. It is better in Veneto, which out of 10515 swabs has just 360 cases (1 in 30) and 'only' 6 deaths. [Data updated at 5 p.m. today, 4 March 2020].

For a little over a month I have been living with my fiancé Francesco and we divide our week between Monte Isola and Remedello in the province of Brescia. In both villages, no contagion so far, but in Calvisano (which is just 9 km from Remedello) one person died today and in Marone (which is just 2 km from Monte Isola) the first infected person was announced. Here we are outside the feared Lodi red zone, but the red zone is also extending its borders to some Bergamo villages moving inexorably towards us.

For this, When I hear people call the Coronavirus 'a simple flu with a low mortality rate' by scoundrels who do not realise the emergency we are living in here in northern Italy, I get a fulminating cringe! Yesterday morning I received the press release from Verona Fiere that moved Vinitaly -sold out since last November- to June, precisely from 14 to 17. Have you ever seen Vinitaly moved because of seasonal flu?

Coronavirus: remember that Vinitaly for wineries is a place of work?

The Coronavirus has hit -mainly- the three most productive regions of Italy: Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto. Here there has been a staggering increase in daily cases. In 24 hours, the number of infected Brescians rose from 16 to 61 and two more people died. I don't want to scaremonger of any kind, but neither do I want to hear that the decision to move Vinitaly is bullshit as I heard from someone today.

Of course, the infected are mostly over 60, but my mum is also 60, and I don't know that 60-year-olds should have such a tight deadline by natural law. Then the problem is that 1 in 10 goes to intensive care, and if dozens of people go in there every day, the wards are full. And those who need it for other diseases or operations, do we send them home or let them die? You are wretches, excuse me. Have a glass of Tavernello and don't bother coming to Vinitaly in June if you have so much to complain about and criticise the choice of Verona Fiere.

Then, if you don't have the chutzpah to fear contagion for yourself and your loved ones (don't you even have a close relative or friend you love over 60?), at least have the respect of all the wineries that -I know, you won't believe it- don't spend big quid to attend Vinitaly to make you enjoy it or get drunk (as the case may be)! What kind of turnout do you think an international fair can have in one of the worst hit regions when America Airlines crews desert flights to Malpensa for fear of contagion? Holding Vinitaly in a month's time was just madness in which it was mainly the wineries that really lost out.

I imagine the empty pavilions, the winemakers and workers talking with two masks on top of each other, the few patrons strictly at least a metre away quickly removing their masks to take a sip. Way to go, congratulations! Ah, right! Someone always forgets that Vinitaly is a place of work and we sommeliers should be the first to respect it, with the pride of the title we bear.

The decision to postpone Vinitaly according to Mantovani and Cotarella

"In view of the rapidly evolving international situation that generates evident difficulties for all exhibition activities on a continental level, VeronaFiere has decided to reposition the dates of Vinitaly, Enolitech and Sol&Agrifood from 14 to 17 June 2020, i.e. in the best period to ensure exhibitors and visitors the highest standard of business. Giovanni Mantovanigeneral director of Verona Fiere. In fact, not only Vinitaly in Verona was postponed, but also Cosmoprof in Bologna and the Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Verona Fiere is activating a task force to assist its customers in every area necessary for the reorganisation of the postponed events and in close cooperation with the relevant associations will prepare all necessary incoming actions to ensure the presence of buyers and qualified professional operators. On the new dates, moreover, Confcommercio Verona and Cooperativa Albergatori Veronesi have expressed their utmost willingness to help shift bookings.

coronavirus assoenologi riccardo cotarella

He spoke very well Riccardo CotarellaPresident of Assoneologi: "The decision taken by VeronaFiere on Vinitaly and supported by the associations in the supply chain, derives from intelligent and business considerations. It is unthinkable to imagine a Vinitaly that is the pride and joy of the Italian wine-growing sector and an event that the whole world envies us, more or less strongly downsized in terms of attendance by operators who are currently giving unsatisfactory forecasts. This means protecting the operations of our producers and at the same time protecting the image of Italian wine and Vinitaly in the world. Speaking of this immense Italian oenologist, did you know that he also looks after the wines of Cigognola Castle, property of the Moratti family?

Coronavirus and Vinitaly: Feel like a controversy? Seriously?

Holding Vinitaly as if nothing had happened is not possible. The Coronavirus is new, we can hardly hope to be certain of the situation a month from now. Indeed, seeing China, while agreeing to be better, So please, STOP THE POLEMICS. We are in an emergency, we must be united and strong to relaunch Italy's image in the world. From the stars to the stables is a moment, let us team up and work hard to be even better this year and make a Vinitaly that will be talked about for a long time for its beauty, quality and efficiency.

Vinitaly: here are the dates of all the events

Vinitaly Design International Packaging Competition 25 March 2020
5StarWines / Wine without Walls 15-17 April 2020
VIA-Vinitaly International Academy 8-12 June 2020
Vinitaly and the City 12-15 June 2020
OperaWine 13 June 2020
Vinitaly-Sol&Agrifood-Enolitech 14-17 June 2020

Good luck to all operators, as always I make my wine blog available for all your needs.
Cheers 🍷 
P.S. Feel free to leave me a comment to let me know what you think. I promise if it's going to be a controversy, I'll just throw the curse of Bacchus at you (which turns every bottle of wine in your cellar into a carton of St. Crispin's). 😅😈

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