Wine culture in Thailand is undeniably growing with every passing year. With our thirst for wine knowledge, we attended Gambero Rosso Wine Roadshow — the world’s leading authority on Italian food and wine for the past 30 years. We also had the opportunity to sit down with two expert winemakers in attendance — Angiolina Piotti Velenosi from Velenosi Ascoli Piceno and Maurizio Dalmasson from Livon Aziende Agricole.
Angiolina Velenosi founded Velenosi Ascoli Piceno more than 34 years ago. Their flagship red wine, Rosso Piceno Superiore Roggio del Filare, is a blend of montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes. It has hints of morello cherries, and a beautiful smooth finish. Whereas, the Offida Pecorino Villa Angela is a crisp white with pleasant and fruity citrus notes.
I [Velenosi] started my wine business… with no money, no family business, and no experience. I had a love of wine and wanted to do something I am truly passionate about. The business started very small. And today, we have two vineyards, encompassing 145 hectares of land. We now produce about two million two hundred thousand bottles of premium wine annually.
One of the biggest challenges that I’ve [Velenosi] faced so far… would be, being a woman for sure – especially when it was 30 years ago. It took time to be taken seriously. You need to have a lot of energy to succeed. I don’t get a lot of sleep as there is always something that has to be done, and there is a lot of travelling involved. You need to have a keen willingness to work hard and share your passion.
My [Velenosi] wines are now available… all over Asia. This includes Thailand, China, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and even Kyrgyzstan.
My [Velenosi] wines are most popular in… Japan right now. It’s difficult because Italian wine is still fairly new in Asia – in comparison to European wines – but our red wines are doing very well. We look forward to introducing even more varietals this year.
Maurizio Dalmasson is the export manager for Livon wines, a well-established winery located just northeast of Venice in Friuli. Founded in 1964 by Dorino Livon, the winery now has three separate vineyards in three regions of Italy and produces over a million bottles of wine annually. Their Manditocai is an exceptional, complex white made from friulano grapes, which boasts vibrant, smoky tasting notes.
Our [Livon] wines can currently be found… all over Asia. Japan was our first market and now, we have been there for 15 to20 years. We are also in China. Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
Some of the challenges that we’ve [Livon] faced so far in the Asian market… include people’s perception on wines from different regions. For instance, Italian wines are not as well-known as French wines. Hence, we do not benefit from brand name recognition.
Our [Livon] popular wines in Thailand would be… our whites, our Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc in particular. And you can find our wines at popular Bangkok restaurants such as Enoteca, Bacco-Osteria da Sergio, Di Vino, Sole Mio and of course, Gianni.
Our [Livon] wines are special because… they are vibrant wines and they match beautifully with both the cuisine and climate in Thailand. Our wines are also now available to all first and business class passengers who are flying with Emirates Airlines from Asia. We also have plans to work with our importers to expand our growth in this region.