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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards took place this past week. The celebrities were out in full force, dressed in their very best, for a night of glamour and recognition. Naturally, with all the celebrating, there were a lot of toasts being made. And with each toast, the glasses were filled with Ferrari Trento sparkling wine, adding a touch of Italian style to the night.
Italy’s most awarded bubbles, Ferrari Trento was the Official Sparkling Wine of Emmy® Awards season for the third consecutive year. Named the “European Winery of the year” by Wine Enthusiast in 2015 and the “Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year” at The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships, Ferrari Trento understands what it is to be the best. Featured in world-class restaurants around the world, Ferrari Trento is also partnered with luxury brands Zegna and Maserati. After all, Ferrari Trento is a brand the celebrates the “Italian art of living.”
But Ferrari Trento is a family-owned business. Ferrari Trento was founded by Giulio Ferrari in 1902 who had studied in France, where he learned about Champagne and the metodo classico (Champagne-method). Returning to Trentino, Giulio Ferrari was the first person to understand the potential of the Trentino mountains and was the first to bring chardonnay and pinot noir to the area. Giulio Ferrari ran the winery for 50 years and every bottle he produced was a work of art.
Unfortunately, Giulio Ferrari did not have any heirs so he decided to sell the winery and selected Bruno Lunelli, a wine merchant in Trento, as successor. The Lunelli family took over in 1952 and today, President and CEO Matteo Lunelli is the third generation to run the winery.
The Tre Bicchieri World Tour came to San Francisco to showcase the 2012 Tre Bicchieri winners, the top-rated Italian wines of the past year.  Organized by Gambero Rosso, which began in 1986, more than 20,000 wines were tasted by the panels, who awarded one, two, or three "Bicchieri" (or "glasses") to wines of exceptional character and quality.  This year every style of Italian wine and every region was represented among the 375 that received the highest rating of Tre Bicchieri (three glasses). As I typically organize events of this kind, I rarely have the opportunity to spend the entire afternoon tasting and learning and not running around keeping everything organized.  Walking into a room with more than 130 producers (and 300+ wines) can be rather overwhelming.  Where do you start?  Should you taste by varietal?  by region?  all whites and then reds?  By the time you figure out how you are going to approach the tasting, you have lost valuable tasting time.  Luckily, I had the great pleasure to taste the wines alongside Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson, wine educator and author of books such as Great Wine Made Simple. Andrea recommends jumping back and forth between varietals, styles and regions so that your palate doesn't get fatigued quickly.  With her guidance, we tasted through more than half the tasting in just over two hours.