PRESS RELEASE OF THE CONSORTIUM OF BRUNELLO OF MONTALCINO WINE ON THE FINANCIAL POLICE INQUIRY

Montalcino, September 9th, 2014 - With reference to the findings of the investigations carried out by the Siena Public Prosecutor's Office, which showed that Brunello has been a victim of fraud both in administrative and commercial terms, the President of the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino (Brunello di Montalcino Consortium), Fabrizio Bindocci, highlights that, "It is a serious issue that could cause significant damage to  Brunello di Montalcino, to its producers and its territory, however, fortunately there is a system that (in this case) has the strength and the means to identify, isolate and successfully combat those who abuse the reputation of Brunello.  The offences leave no doubt: this is a case of fraud against the consumer and most of all against the producers of Brunello, who have been victims of this affair and who will respond decisively.  If and when the investigations confirm the various parties responsible, the Consortium will immediately submit a civil claim and will use all means necessary to combat similar behaviour, particularly against those who have committed serious offences within the territory or adopted practices that are harmful to the image of Brunello.  After all, on behalf of all the producers and the territory, the Consortium has collaborated with the investigations from the start, investigations that were initiated by the producers' own system. This is in fact an issue that could have adversely affected the credibility and reputation of an extremely important "made in Italy" brand, which has always focussed on quality so as to distinguish itself on the global market and it is for this same reason, as is the case for the major fashion brands, that Brunello is more susceptible to fraud. In order to avoid any repetition of unlawful and damaging behaviour in the territory," continues Bindocci, "in the past few months we have already taken two important measures. Firstly, in July the General Meeting approved the inclusion of a new clause in the rules that introduces preventive monitoring of the sale of grapes and wine sold in bulk.  Producers must give 48 hours notice of sales, thereby further facilitating the work carried out by the authorities that are in charge of monitoring. Also in July, a commission was established, which by October will draft the Code of Ethics by which all producers and those who work in the wine sector must abide. After all," concludes Fabrizio Bindocci, "the Consortium has for many years been involved in safeguarding the producers' work and protecting consumers, a role that requires an ever increasing amount of attention and continuous updating of the rules, to benefit the territory, the brand and the quality of the products."