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Brunello di Montalcino accelerates on promotion in Italy and around the world

Exclusive interview with Fabrizio Bindocci, president of the protection consortium

For the past thirty years the municipality of Montalcino has hosted an event dedicated to "its" wine, organized by the Consortium for the protection of Brunello di Montalcino. "The historical preview par excellence", defines the president Fabrizio Bindocci, during an EFA News interview. "It is an important moment of promotion, fundamental for our denomination. The operators of the sector, wine lovers and the press, have the opportunity to taste the wines in preview. Before the Benvenuto Brunello was done in February, so that carried out in conjunction with the other appellations. We decided to anticipate it because unlike others, our wines come out in January. Doing it in February didn't make much sense because the vintages were already on the market", explains the president of the Consortium to our microphones.

A US edition of the event was also organized this year (see EFA News article of 22-2-22 ). "The choice to do it in New York is linked to the fact that the American market for our denomination has always been the reference market. This year it took place in two days, February 23-24, a choice due to the pandemic, we had a selected audience of 300 operators who were able to taste the 150 labels representing the 50 companies present. The preview allowed us to consolidate our presence on the market and they were all pleasantly surprised by the organization of the service", Bindocci explained.

But what does the American market represent for the Consortium?

"If we talk about numbers, America represents about 30% of the total bottles produced. Then it is certainly a nice showcase. The American market is a market made up of important people and important journalists, who then go on to influence the 'public opinion", comments the president.

Montalcino exports to almost all the countries of the world. "Despite the problems linked to Brexit, the British market continues to be very important, as well as Northern Europe, North America and Canada, which is partly held back by tariffs and quotas. The denomination is also growing very well in Asia and not only in China. We are talking about Japan, Korea and Vietnam", he explains.

Are you planning other international initiatives for 2022?

"At the end of May we will participate as sponsor and with a masterclass in London, in an initiative of The Italian show, organized by the English sommeliers. During the event, the prize will be awarded to the best sommelier in the United Kingdom. This is an important figure because if kids at 18 started taking sommelier courses to understand and appreciate wine, there would be far fewer young people getting drunk for 'fun'. It would be a solution to promote conscious drinking", says Bindocci and adds: "Then we are planning another event here in Montalcino, between May and June. An opportunity to push the Rosso di Montalcino appellation, which is a great wine, with its own personality, with an ease of appreciation especially by young people. it can be a beginning to make the peculiarities of Sangiovese known to young people and to prepare them for the next leap, or rather to appreciate Brunello di Montalcino".

Will you attend trade fairs?

"Finally, after a couple of years of stoppage, we will return in April to Vinitaly, an important Italian event in which we are proud to be able to participate. Then in May we will participate in ProWein in Düsseldorf, a more specialized event".

What perception does the American consumer have of Tuscan wines? Which are the most popular?

"According to a recent survey conducted by Wine Intelligence, Tuscany is the best known wine region in the world, second only to the local Napa Valley, with a knowledge rate of 58% among US consumers. Brunello di Montalcino also boasts a reputation for 7% with a very high level of loyalty among partners, wine enthusiasts, urban millennials of the upper class. The figure rises considerably when it comes to purchases: Americans who know Brunello in 30% of cases buy it. And it is one of the highest values ever, second among Italians to Prosecco alone, which is 31%".

How important is communication to make known the characteristics of this made in Italy product abroad?

"For our denomination, communication represents the last piece of a puzzle that is built piece by piece, starting from the work in the vineyard of our producers. The success of Brunello is the result of teamwork that unites the work of the production chain with communication and marketing activities, essential tools to promote, also and above all abroad, one of the symbolic wines of Made in Italy in the world".

How important is attention to the territory for your denomination?

"A hectare of vineyard has not been planted in Montalcino for the Brunello appellation since 1997. The production disciplinary speaks of 8000 kg of grapes per hectare. Over the years we always hold a shareholders' meeting where we discuss whether to leave production to 8000 kg or lower it. In most vintages we decide to lower it because we intend to raise the quality bar, and to do so we have to lower the quantity. This thing is giving important results. We are a denomination attentive to quality but also to the territory: beyond 50% of our companies are organic. It is a growing trend, because many companies are transforming themselves into organic ones and the others still pay attention to the territory. Montalcino is a territory that has already been carbon neutral for over 10 years, it is nothing more than the result of the attention and respect of the producers towards the territory", concludes Bindocci.

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EFA News - European Food Agency