Among restaurants the Locanda Locatelli of London wins the prize. In the “Osteria” category the prize goes to the Fattoria Del Campiglione in Pozzuoli and the Enoteca Bonatti is the winner for the Wine Shop section

Montalcino, February 2010 – The top of Italian and international wine and food service rewarded by Brunello di Montalcino: the Locanda Locatelli in London, the Fattoria Del Campiglione in Pozzuoli (Naples) and the Enoteca Bonatti in Florence were given the “Leccio d’Oro” 2010, the prize awarded on the occasion of the “Benvenuto Brunello” (19-22 February), the international event for the press and the operators of the sector, that this year is presenting the 2005 vintage. Every year the “Leccio d’Oro” committee chooses a restaurant, an osteria and a wine shop that have stood out in the presentation, the service and the promotion of wine and, in particular, of Brunello.

The prizes are awarded to places that have a Wine list with a widely representative range of Brunello di Montalcino and of the other Montalcino wines with regard to the various vintages and to the number of labels of the different estates that produce it.

The service and presentation is taken into account with relation to the specific needs of Brunello di Montalcino and the other Montalcino wines. The level of knowledge and preparation regarding the state of the area and the production characteristics of the wines, are also appraised.

Among the restaurants, therefore, the one selected was Giorgio Locatell’s Locanda Locatelli (www.locandalocatelli.com) in London, one of the best Italian restaurants of the British capital. Clients include Tony Blair, Woody Allen, Madonna and Vladimir Putin. Together with Locatelli, is Tony Allen, chef of Corgeno in the province of Varese, with whom Giorgio led the television series on the Gambero Rosso Channel “Tony and Giorgio”.  The charming cellar in itself is worth a visit to the restaurant: a great assortment of national and foreign labels, with a particular part reserved to Tuscan production, in which Montalcino stands out.

“Leccio d’Oro” also to La Fattoria Del Campiglione (www.lafattoriadelcampiglione.it), an osteria in Pozzuoli (Naples). The protagonists are Michele Sgamato of butcher’s generation and Gerardo Buono, a cook for over twenty years. To offer meat in a coast area with an obvious seafood vocation was not an easy bet, but after so many years it is clear that they won the bet. The space dedicated to Brunello is very ample, in a cellar with more than 1000 wine labels, with a special eye for Italy but that does not disdain an outlook on the rest of the world.

The Enoteca Bonatti (www.enotecabonatti.it) in Florence is the winner of the ‘Wine Shop’ category, born in Florence in 1934 as a retail shop for wine and oil, when the wine used to arrive in barrels and would be bottled directly on the premises in fiascos. At that time neither brands nor denominations existed guaranteeing the quality of the wine: the guarantor was the shop owner himself. Three generations followed as managers of the shop; the founder Pasquale Bonatti was succeeded by his daughter Sara and her husband Mario, but currently the wine shop is managed by four friends: Roberto and Stefano, grandchildren of Pasquale Bonatti, Luca and Selvaggio, keenly involved for ten years in the shop.

The prizes will be assigned on February 29th, during the event of the vintage presentation “Benvenuto Brunello”.

Every prize consists in a plaque, a stay in Montalcino, and includes a provision of bottles of Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello di Montalcino and Sant’Antimo, of various producers.

The committee that assigned the “Leccio d’Oro” prizes is composed of President of the Consorzio del Brunello Patrizio Cencioni, vice presidents Riccardo Talenti, Ferruccio Ricci and Marco Cortonesi, of food and wine journalist Paola Mura, of food and wine expert Folco Portinari, of national AIS President Terenzio Medri and of food and wine writer of the U.S. market Faith Willinger.

The Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino was founded in 1967 after the recognition of the D.O.C., as a free association of producers with the intention of safeguarding a wine whose prestige was asserting itself more and more. It has during the years embodied an instrument of scrupulous and responsible self-discipline, bringing together old and new, small and large estates, in such a way that the wise consolidated customs became a common strategy for qualitative success. The Consorzio safeguards and promotes all four Montalcino denomination wines: Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello di Montalcino and Sant’Antimo Doc; the remaining part is planted with Igt.

There are 250 producers (of which 200 are bottlers), all of whom are members of the Consorzio. In all there are 3500 hectares of vineyards in Montalcino divided as follows: 2100 hectares are planted with Brunello di Montalcino; 510 hectares are planted with Rosso di Montalcino; 50 hectares are planted with Moscadello di Montalcino; 600 hectares are planted with Sant’Antimo Doc; the remaining part is planted with Igt.

On average every year 6,500,000 bottles of Brunello di Montalcino are produced. 4,000,000 of Rosso di Montalcino, 80,000 of Moscadello di Montalcino and 500,000 of Sant’Antimo.

60% of the produce is exported and the total turnover in the wine sector of Montalcino adds up to 140 million euros.