Brunello di Montalcino is 50 years old. Festivities began in April under the banner of ‘Bravery and Pride’, and kicked off with a tasting of venerable bottles from the 1967 vintage, followed by a three-star Michelin charity dinner in the city’s old castle.
Surprisingly, there were very few journalists present. ‘You are the only one writing anything down here,’ the Valdicava producer Vincenzo Abbruzzese remarked to me as we gathered in the Teatro degli Astrusi. The atmosphere was jovial and intimate – more like a private party for the producers and winemakers. It was, he added, very different to how things began.
What’s next for Brunello? The most obvious trend is the way in which the sub-regions are expressing their distinct and diverse terroirs. Moreover, a whole new, quality-focused generation is taking the reins in Montalcino. Hope lies in their inheritance of the pride, passion and curiosity of their forefathers. Truly, they have an extraordinary opportunity to make the future of Brunello even greater than its glorious past.