BRUNELLO 2.0: THE CONSORZIO ALL OUT FOR THE WEB

More than 10 thousand fans on the popular social media, a page on Twitter and an electronic identity card.

Montalcino, April 2010 – In this digital era even wine discovers the importance of the web 2.0. Following this trend, the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, with its page on Facebook, gives constant updates to its more than 10 thousand fans who keep track of its activities and appointments.

In these last years in which large businesses have understood the importance of the Internet, even the wine business has intensified its direct contact with the public creating spaces for online conversation and an increasing visibility. The favourite channels for this activity are blogs and social media on Facebook and Twitter.

The Mark Zuckerberg portal has by now reached more than 400 million users and plenty of pages are made every day concerning the world of wine. Whereas last year Verona Fiere estimated there were around 5 million organized users in viticulture “pages” and “groups”, today the number is more like 7.5 million.

Many wine estates now promote and publicize their wines by means of the social media, and many fan pages are devoted to the different denominations, most of them managed by wine lovers.

“Our page is directly managed by the Consorzio – explains the President of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, Patrizio Cencioni – this way we are able to guarantee bilateral communication: we can answer fan questions, giving out clear and precise information regarding our activities, sharing photos of events and press releases and creating a more direct relationship with those that follow us. One example was the “Benvenuto Brunello”, during which we created a veritable “live online broadcast” of the event”.

The event that took place in Montalcino from the 19th to the 22nd February did indeed catalyze the attention of users who were able to follow the developments from their home; journalists of various nationalities some of whom were commenting directly online on the wines they were tasting; and Montalcino producers, who were following live, would comment and insert photos directly from their mobile phones. A live event on Facebook, with an average of 20,000 viewings.

But this is not the only novelty of the Consorzio del Brunello that, in view of the coming Vinitaly 2010, decided to make its own multimedia even more interactive thanks to the integration of other social media and the introduction of new technology guaranteeing the safety and traceability of its wines.

Thus a new institutional profile has been activated on Twitter, a micro-blogging service that offers users a personal page that can be updated by messages with a maximum text of 140 characters, considered today an instrument of “participatory journalism”.

The Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino is moreover, among the first in Italy to avail itself of a system which enables total traceability: an electronic ID card available since the year 1999, has now been enhanced by an SMS service, for Rosso di Montalcino as well.

For some years now the Consorzio has perfected a system for traceability
by connecting to its own web site (www.consorziobrunellodimontalcino.it) that enables the more careful and demanding consumers to avail themselves of an excellent service. From now on wine data can be found by means of a mobile phone. All that is needed is to send and SMS to the number 366 3008880 (for Brunello di Montalcino) or to the number 366 3333730 (for Rosso di Montalcino). In a short time an SMS answer will arrive providing the following data: vintage, number of bottles produced in the same lot, certification reference of the controlling body, specific analytical data (alcohol content, extract and acidity) and the producer’s name.

“This means yet another step ahead for the concept of total transparency and traceability – concludes President Cencioni – Thanks to this system consumers have a guarantee that the seal does indeed correspond to the bottle on which it is stuck. It also creates a sort of pact between producers and consumers that does not end with the purchase of a bottle but continues afterwards, guaranteeing information and assistance to whoever buys wine in the territory of Montalcino. This electronic ID card is in fact the final phase, the last step in a series of controls effected along the whole line, from the vineyard to the bottle, safeguarding producers and above all consumers.

In the meantime good news has arrived from the United States. A Californian estate had been selling its wine (pure Sangiovese) using the denomination: “Brunello di Sonoma”. This producer will no longer be able to use the name of the Tuscan wine, the brand “Brunello di Montalcino was registered in the U.S.A. as far back as 1994 and the name “Brunello” is only allowed by the European Union for Sangiovese grapes produced within the Township of Montalcino.