The 18th successive “Benvenuto Brunello” event has started. Over 200 journalists expected from all over the world.

The authors of “The Drop of God”, a popular series about the wine world, created the celebratory tile of Brunello 2009 vintage that reaps 4 stars.

Montalcino, February2010 – The celebrating of Brunello di Montalcino, this year has fallen to Japan. the authors of “The Drops of God” , an extremely popular Japanese ‘manga’ cartoon about wine, have created the commemorative tile of Brunello di Montalcino 2009.

Since 1992 the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino has a commemorative tile placed on the wall of the Montalcino Town Hall, created by figures of the worlds of art, sport, show business, who may be Italian or foreign, to celebrate the vintage of the Tuscan Rosso. The tile (made of terracotta and measuring 30 x 30 cm, with the vintage year inscribed and the number of stars assigned) was presented today as part of the “Benvenuto Brunello” event.

This year the homage comes from Japan. “The Drops of God”, devised and written by Tadashi Agi (pen name that represents the team of brothers Yuko and Shin Kibayashi), became a great success not just in Japan (4,300,000 copies sold) but also in south Korea, Taiwan, Honk Dong, Indonesia and even France, where the publication of “Les Gouttes de Dieu” has by now surpassed 600,000 copies.

The key to the success of the manga is the completely innovative concept that unites, in a sequence of episodes with wine as the leading role, fascinating images with poetical descriptions of wine in an easily understandable language that reminds all readers of the fragrances and flavours of wine.

“We are particularly pleased with the fact that this year the tile comes from Japan – explains the President of the Consorzio del Vino Patrizio Cencioni because in the last years exports to the Asian markets have clearly risen and already by next Autumn various initiatives are planned in Hong Kong, Shanghai  and Tokyo. The Drops of God, is a manga that enjoys tremendous popularity in a large part of the world. It is an honour for us”.

Attending the placement of the tile were: Okimoto Shu, designer of the cartoon as well as of the tile; Munekoshi Hirokawa, head of the publishers Kodansha that publish “The Drops of God” in the weekly cartoon magazine “Morning”; Atsushi Homma, commentator of Italian wines of the wine magazine “Real Wine Guide”, published in Japan, who in the cartoon “The Drops of God” is the “Director Homma”, a passionate ambitious figure.

Good news for the 2009 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino that received 4 stars today. The weather conditions of the year 2009 followed two different phases that were however well combined. During the first phase there were many days of rain that provided a healthy accumulation of water reserves in the land. This rather rainy phase was more drawn out than usual, lasting until the first half of July.

During the second period, the summer, the weather was extremely dry and hot. So the water reserves accumulated during the first phase proved very useful. The ripening improved after the first half of the month of August following a regular development, as is shown in the analytical data collected by the Consorzio. The amount of poliphenols were both very dense and well balanced.

A vintage therefore, that obtained an excellent result reaping its 4 stars, assigned today during the “Benvenuto Brunello”, that is charged with proclaiming the stars assigned to each new vintage, the presentation to the press of the new wines introduced to the market, the placing of the celebratory tile of the new vintage  and the awarding of the Leccio d’Oro Prize.  Two days dedicated to the presenting of the new wines on the market to the operators in the sector.

For this eighteenth “Benvenuto Brunello” event more than 200 journalists are expected, of which 80 coming from abroad, at least two for every European country, including Norway, Finland, Sweden, Poland, the Ukraine and Russia. Particularly notable is the presence of Germany and obviously that of the United States, Japan and East Asia.

Brunello therefore, continues to conquer Italians and foreigners alike, showing a rise in sales and in the merchandising sector, developed by the Compagnia del Brunello. T shirts, aprons, caps, bottle openers, bicycle suits are all still selling like hot cakes in the Val d’Orcia.

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.