On June 13th, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Olga Bussinello. As the Director of Valpolicella Wines, Bussinello is educating the wine-drinking public on the revitalization of the Valpolicella region which is located around the city of Verona in northeastern Italy. She was more than delightful and gave her time generously. I met Bussinello at the Valpolicella and Prosecco tasting event ‘The Essence of Veneto in a Wine Glass’ made possible by the two organizations, Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG and Valpolicella Consorzio Tutela Vini.
The room held tastings of incredible wines from two distinct Italian regions that deserve more recognition than they receive. I am a huge fan of the wines from the Valpolicella and continue to be surprised that it only makes up 3.1% of our Canadian wine market. It is my belief that Bussinello’s love and care of the region will help grow the Valpolicella segment within the Canadian market.
Six years ago, Olga Bussinello had an idea…to start a project for the Valpolicella vineyards that would take some time but would improve the quality of the region – the soil, the land and the wine. The ‘Reduce Respect Retrench’ project was born, “I felt that not enough attention was being given to the health of the vineyards and I wanted to see if something could be done.” The ‘Reduce Respect Retrench’ project asks members to voluntarily sign up and go through vigorous soil analysis with tests and reports done weekly to determine the health of their vineyard soil.
The goal is to create a set of regulations for viticulture that not only protect the vineyards and vines but also serves to improve the health and quality of the wines produced, “Wellness in the wine is very important to the Italian consumers as well as international consumers. This program is about creating a future communication of the wine – how we want the Valpolicella wine to be expressed in years to come.” After 3 years within the program, member wineries will be certified and bare a logo on their bottles indicating successful completion of the program.
It was my distinct pleasure and honour to meet Bussinello and learn about the ‘Reduce Respect Retrench’ program. She is a visionary who cares not only about the Valpolicella wine but also about the health of soil, vineyards, region and wines themselves.