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The First Cantina Toblino Virtual Food & Wine Tasting Takes Place Thanks to Microsoft’s Cloud Computing

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Taking advantage of the Microsoft Teams digital collaboration platform and the strategic consulting of Microsoft partner Si-Net, the renowned wine producer from the Valle dei Laghi is facing pandemic uncertainty and presenting this year’s Vènt line via an interactive digital experience.

Trento, May 18, 2020 – Cantina Toblino, together with Microsoft and its partner Si-Net, has reconceived the enogastronomic experience to offer its first Virtual Food & Wine Tasting thanks to the Teams cloud collaboration platform. This renowned wine cellar in the Valle dei Laghi — which since 1960 has included over 600 member wine growers and nearly 850 hectares of vineyards to generate annual revenues of more than €17 million — has transformed the crisis surrounding the current health emergency into an opportunity to modernize the way it works and launch new methods of digital interaction with players and opinion leaders in the wine and food market. Thanks to the new Microsoft technologies, has taken place today the first international virtual tasting of the Vènt line, the wine project which embodies the identity of the Valle dei Laghi and the savoir-fare of Cantina Toblino by focusing on its organic orientation as an expression of quality and maintaining local tradition. A key moment for the local area and the industry. Making use of Cloud Computing erases the geographical boundaries and challenges imposed by the current situation and makes it possible for a regional representative of Made-in-Italy excellence to easily present on an international level the five most prestigious wines of this new year: Chardonnay Foll, Lagrein Las, Pinot Blanc Praàl, Manzoni Bianco Da Fòra, and Pinot Noir Baticòr.

Through Microsoft Teams chat, video-conferencing and sharing functions, Cantina Toblino experts, together with its food&wine partners, have led the tasting from a range of locations to offer national and international opinion leaders and customers an all-round experience by interacting in real time and suggesting food and wine pairings to best enhance the Vènt line. In particular, Cantina Toblino’s managing director, Carlo De Biasi, went on line from the vineyards where the organic grapes are grown and explained in detail the soil, climate and wind characteristics. Wine expert Lorenzo Tomazzoli spoke from the selection wine cellar where, surrounded by casks and amphoras, he described the wine-making process. Luca D’Attoma, wine expert and Vènt project consultant, spoke from his home in Lucca, providing a detailed look at this year’s wines and guiding customers and opinion leaders in their tasting. In connection from Italy Daniela Scrobogna e Raffaele Fischetti (Fondazione Italiana Sommelier), Giuseppe Carrus (Gambero Rosso), Stevie Kim (Vinitaly international), Gigi Brozzoni (Guida Veronelli), Eros Teboni (Best Sommelier of the World WSA) Alessandro Marchesan (Zonin 1821, Past Group Sommelier Azumi ltd) , from Adelaide Peter Hayes Honorary President OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine),  from Rheims as guest of honor was also Vincent Chaperon, Chef De Cave at Dom Perignon.

Thanks to the flawless advance logistical distribution of bottles from Cantina Toblino, experts and wine-lovers in Italy and the major cities in the company’s network around the world were offered a phygital experience, combining physical and digital, to truly enjoy the Vènt line as Toblino managers and expert sommeliers described its organoleptic properties via remote connection. A project that will certainly be repeated, including as part of the many training and customer relations activities of Cantina Toblino with its major markets.

The Virtual Food & Wine Tasting project took shape in recent weeks thanks to the close collaboration with Microsoft and Si-Net and it demonstrates Microsoft’s on-going commitment to promoting innovation in SMEs, also as part of its new investment and initiatives plan, Ambizione Italia #DigitalRestart. Following a number of successful experiences with wine growers in other regions of Italy, the Cantina Toblino wine and food tasting is also destined to lead the way and shows how innovation can contribute to competitiveness in the supply chain, including in the current state of uncertainty due to the pandemic and in the restart phase, by simplifying the sharing of information among colleagues and sector operators wherever and whenever, thus circumventing geographical barriers and even rethinking in-person events from a digital standpoint. In fact, Teams is an excellent ally, providing support to smart working and business continuity, and for this reason it is registering growing success in Italy and around the globe, where it is present in 181 markets in 53 languages, with over 75 million active users per day.

“Covid-19 has forced us to change our approach to customers and suppliers through reinforcing the use of technology. We had already embarked on a digital transformation journey by adopting the Microsoft 365 cloud productivity platform, but the limitations imposed by the health emergency and the desire to keep going regardless has pushed us to do more. By capitalizing on the Microsoft Teams collaboration tools and thanks to the consulting services of Si-Net, we were able to break through the impasse of the pandemic, launch new ways of interacting and design innovative services, such as our first virtual wine and food tasting on an international scale that, given its success today, we hope to be able to repeat often. Microsoft Cloud allowed us to be in contact with professionals and opinion leaders throughout the world in a simple and direct manner. This gave us the opportunity to present, digitally, a physical product — our wine — and bring to life a new experience as if we were physically in the vineyards. Microsoft Teams is showing itself to be useful in both operational and strategic contexts, and allows us to save time and economic/financial resources we can use in other ways,” said Carlo De Biasi, Managing Director at Cantina Toblino.

“We have always supported the companies that represent Made-in-Italy excellence and we are even prouder to do this now at a moment in which what is required is teamwork to contribute to business continuity in sectors that are key to Italy and getting them back to work. Within these uncertain times, rethinking paradigms and daily work routines is fundamental to assuring the present and future of SMEs found throughout the country. New technologies can make the difference in enabling more smart forms of collaboration and launching new modes of interaction among colleagues, and with partners and customers. The Cantina Toblino project shows that with the right technologies and strategic consulting — in this case offered by Si-Net, one of the many partners in the Microsoft ecosystem active throughout Italy — local companies can also take part in the sustainability of the supply chain and the nation’s growth. Utilizing Cloud Computing and Microsoft Teams digital collaboration tools, it was possible to create a virtual food and wine tasting experience to showcase traditional products from the Trentino region, including outside Italy. An example of the tenacity of Italy’s SMEs, for whom throwing in the towel is not an option,” commented Luba Manolova, Director of the Microsoft 365 Division, Microsoft Italia.

Cantina Toblino’s use of Teams is part of a multi-year process of digital transformation which, in particular, included the adoption — together with Microsoft Trentino partner MPA Solutions and Si-Net — of the Microsoft 365 cloud productivity ecosystem that encompasses in an integrated environment the best Office apps, intelligent cloud services and advanced security. Part of this platform, Microsoft Teams enables remote collaboration and, among its multiple functions, integrates within a single instrument the possibility of conducting on-line meetings, creating live events, sharing documents and team working in real time, as well as chatting and interacting anytime, anywhere. For more information about Microsoft Teams, click here.

CANTINA TOBLINO & “VÈNT”

Cantina Toblino, the heart of viticulture in Valle dei Laghi, was born in 1960 at the behest of a group of passionate winemakers who glimpsed the great wine-growing vocation of Valle dei Laghi. To date, there are over 600 wine-grower members with nearly 850 hectares of vineyards. The attention they pay daily to the care of the vineyard is high, continuous manual work that requires passion, patience, great dedication and continuous training. For over 20 years, Cantina Toblino has managed the land of the Mensa Vescovile, a single block of 40 hectares under direct management, cultivated for years according to the principles of organic viticulture. Today over a third of the vineyards of the Cantina Toblino members are converted to organic, paying great attention to the environment, to people and to the care of the vineyard, producing grapes of the highest quality, a fundamental basis for wines.

In this context, the “Vènt” project was born with the ambition to best express the identity of the wines of the Valle dei Laghi and the savoir-faire of Cantina Toblino, organic intended as an expression of quality and territorial safeguard. The lakes, in the name, the wind in the identity. In an inseparable union. Which makes the Valle dei Laghi as varied as the alpine landscape allows. Indelible traces of ancestral mutations. Water, rocks, air. Mixed who knows how and when, until they form scenarios of an apparently homogeneous habitat, in reality all to be discovered. Still mixed, with the work of man, of his constant work. Silent work, often forgotten, but which shaped the valley: it made it ‘genius loci’. With what ‘site genius’? That of being an area that allows you to intuit, glimpse misunderstood atmospheres in the landscape. You see, you admire, the panorama seems homologous to you and in reality it is a triumph of diversity. The one that fascinates with spontaneity; as the boundaries intersect between water and sky, lands and rocky walls, all blurred into each other. With decidedly significant natural archetypes. That testify to an agricultural tradition, a history intertwined with vines and vines, between conservation and innovation. As the valley focuses on tradition to develop its physiognomy, applying (almost) unconsciously the lesser known meaning of the word ‘tradition’. That from the Latin ‘tradizio’, Greek derivation of ‘tradere’, that is to say to deliver and transmit meanings that have links with the concept of ‘betrayal’. Although this is intended as a ‘consecutive’ of environmental specificity, in order to affirm the identity value of everything related, it is close to its origin, to ‘open the birthplace to light’.

Holm oaks, olive trees, especially vines. Few other Alpine resorts can boast such a singular vine cult. Vines and wines of a place, between beneficial waters and breezes. A valley where the rows almost blend into the blue of the water and the clear blue Alpine sky. For centuries vines grown on fields torn from the mountain. On terraces which fortunately prevented the intensive exploitation of the territory.

Here you cannot see vineyards without imperfections. The aesthetic is still the result of the hand of man, of the winemaker. Safe hand planted the row by eye, respecting the ridge of the hill, the (right) direction of exposure towards the afternoon sun.

That’s why still in this valley wines stand out in that they tell the territory where they are born. They contain knowledge. Not just flavors. But how do you understand this valley? Just let yourself be guided by the landscape. Using the wind, the Hour. Vènt, breezes, gusts that transmit voices, sounds, condition microclimates, and therefore crops and cultures.

Vènt, a project that starts from the vine to obtain excellent quality grapes, ends in the cellar, among the French oak barrels, terracotta amphorae. A project born from the passion of man, in the vineyard and in the cellar, and which takes the form of tasting, an unforgettable moment imprinted in our mind.

  • Everything starts from the wind, the identity of a territory like the Valley of the Lakes, Foll is the Chardonnay, unique, complex, lively and elegant.
  • Las, as the founding element of the soil on which our vines grow, is Lagrein round, full-bodied, tenacious.
  • Our attachment to history, represented by a capital that delimits our vineyards, Praàl is the incredibly harmonious Pinot Blanc.
  • The importance of people, the openness to what comes from outside and that we do not know at the beginning, Da Fòra is the intriguing, fragrant, new Manzoni Bianco.
  • Passion, from the vine to the glass, perceptible in the fresh air in the Valle dei Laghi, Baticòr is elegant, delicate and refined Pinot Noir.
  • Wines that complement a range made up of Largiller and L’Ora, wines that have been able to reinterpret and enhance the qualities of the only autochthonous white Trentino grape variety, Nosiola and eLimarò, the result of the traditional drying technique.
  • It has the charm of exclusivity, a rare, unique, memorable nectar. So unparalleled as to be protected as an ‘endangered wine’: it is the Vino Santo Trentino. Few other wines can boast a word in their name that evokes dreams, relaunches moments of pleasure, satisfies the present by recovering the past and – at the same time – relaunches the future. Here the Vino Santo Trentino is the whole of all this, and not only.

The idea behind all these wines is to surprise from the first taste, bringing to mind memories of the Valle dei Laghi, of its idyllic landscapes, of a healthy and fresh air, where the vines of Cantina Toblino grow, cultivated day by day with great passion.

About Cantina Toblino

Cantina Toblino from 1960 to today: a story of excellence. In 1960, a group of passionate winemakers from the Valle dei Laghi (Trentino – Italy) decided to join forces to confront an increasingly competitive reality. From that moment, the link between social cooperation, people and territory remains essential. Over time, Cantina Toblino has become the reference point for viticulture in the Valle dei Laghi: our vineyards have become a real open-air laboratory, where viticultural and oenological research and innovation daily lead to the achievement of new quality standard. Even today, our company philosophy is based on cooperation: our commitment is constant to guarantee our customers excellence along the entire production chain.

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