Biondi Santi, Frescobaldi protest rallies Montalcino – but 40% abstain

  • Thursday 16 October 2008

Montalcino producers are rallying behind their flagship wine in response to a letter the Brunello Consorzio sent to all producers earlier this week.

The letter calls for a general assembly on 27 October to discuss modifying Brunello’s production code.

It also asks for a vote on five questions. Producers are asked if they want to change Brunello’s production code, and how they feel about modifying Rosso di Montalcino’s production regulations.

Producers were also asked if they want to create a single denomination 'Montalcino DOC' that would unite - and replace -Sant'Antimo, Rosso di Montalcino and Moscadello di Montalcino.

‘Many of us were very alarmed when we saw the letter,’ Franco Biondi Santi told decanter.com.

The renowned 86 year old producer was one of the first to take a stand and sign a letter in response demanding that Brunello must remain 100% Sangiovese.

‘Brunello is required to be 100% Sangiovese because in select parts of the denomination, the grape excels as nowhere else in the world, and is why Montalcino has become famous. We’d be crazy to change it,’ he said.

149 producers, more than 60% of total producers and bottlers, a clear majority for a vote, have added their signature. The letter, dated 15 October, has been sent to the president of the Consorzio, as well as to the minister of agriculture Luca Zaia.

Signatories include Soldera, Frescobaldi, Fattoria dei Barbi, Col d’Orcia, Il Poggione and Altesino among others.

Piero Palmucci of Poggio di Sotto said, 'Those who don't agree with Brunello being pure Sangiovese should not make Brunello.'

But though producers voted unanimously to keep the wine pure Sangiovese two years ago, nearly 40% of producers have not signed the Biondi Santi letter.

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