Brunello scandal: Argiano aquitted of adulteration

  • Tuesday 9 July 2013

Brunello di Montalcino producer Argiano has expressed its 'satisfaction' after a Siena court acquitted it of all charges related to the long-running Brunello tainted wine scandal.

Argiano

The Tuscan winery, sold to Brazilian investors earlier this year, said the Giudice del Tribunale di Siena had acquitted it, because ‘there was no evidence to support the charges’.

Argiano was one of seven wineries investigated by the Italian Treasury Department in 2007-2009 in ‘Operation Mixed Wine’, an inquiry into the alleged adulteration of wines produced in Montalcino and Chianti Classico.

The investigation found that 17 people had ‘cheated in commercial transactions’ and ‘falsely certified public documents’.

At the time, Argiano told decanter.com that its wine had been tested, certified and approved for sale by the authorities, except for some of its 2003 bottling, which it had ‘declassified for commercial reasons’.

Reacting to the Siena court decision – given on 15 May but only now reported – Argiano administrator Giorgio Gabelli said: ‘After the long process, the successful full acquittal for this now becomes a promising source of satisfaction for the whole company, and gives us a renewed enthusiasm for development programmes that the new owners intend to continue in order to increase and improve the vineyards of this historic and unique estate.’

Established in 1581, Argiano was acquired by Countess Noemia Marone Cinzano in 1992.

The Countess sold the 250-acre estate to a group of Brazilian investors headed by Andre Esteves earlier this year, with consulting winemaker Hans Vinding-Diers retaining his role at the property.

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