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Chianti producers agree to hold back vintage

Wineries in Chianti Classico will only be allowed to sell 80% of this year’s production in an effort to stabilise the market.

Members of the Chianti Classico Consorzio have agreed to implement a ‘blocco delle vendite’ for the first time because of fears that falling bulk prices could harm the image of the Tuscan DOCG.

Under the plans, they will hold back 20% of the wines produced from the 2009 harvest for a minimum of 24 months.

A spokesperson for the Consorzio said the action was a response to the general state of the wine market, rather than a specific issue for Chianti Classico.

Consorzio directors had rejected the idea of limiting yields in favour of the ‘blocage’, she told decanter.com.

‘It’s an experiment. And it’s not too painful for the estates, especially for those who produce Riserva wines.’ The Riserva category requires an extra 24 months of ageing.

The idea was to avoid speculation after bulk prices for Chianti Classico fell heavily during 2008 and early 2009.

‘It’s a tentative attempt to avoid speculation in a period which is difficult for all the wine sector, and not only for our appellation,’ said the spokesperson. ‘It’s difficult to foresee the real impact on the market, but we will see.’

Chianti Classico has recently been hit by falling sales in key markets like the US. But the Consorzio spokesperson said there were some signs of a recovery, with producers reporting new orders from the US, Asia and some European countries.

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Written by Richard Woodard

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