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Vinitaly 2005: Verona, Italy. Before Opening.

The big show is coming: Vinitaly 2005 is opening its doors today to crowds of professionals and "simple consumers" like me, your reporter on site here in Verona.

Some little worries and shadows hang over the event after the death of the Pope John Paul II, last Saturday night. The Exhibitions Authority of Verona (VeronaFiere) in a statement "expresses immense sadness but does confirm the programme will proceed for Vinitaly 2005 (7/11 April) in a spirit of maximum caring and respect for the memory of John Paul II and great sadness for the death of the Pope shared in the hearts of people all over the world. (...) The calendar of conventions and work meetings remains unchanged."

So the show goes on, as usual.

After the official opening with political authorities from Rome, I will be bringing you first impressions about the health of the wine market in Italy. Even before the show, I can tell you that the general feeling among producers is that the strong market growth is probably at the top of its curve: the critical factors of high prices of wines and economic stagnation in Italy and Europe, coupled with the international competition in global markets, are affecting both consumers and producers.

VeronaFiere just released a document that presents the state of the Italian wine industry. I've excerpted a few pages here.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.