Official opening on 19 and 20 February in Montalcino with the “Benvenuto Brunello” event : presentation to the press and the operators of the sector

Montalcino, February 2010 – excitement is growing among the operators of the sector for the Brunello di Montalcino 2005. “It was a high level harvest - explains the the President of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino Patrizio Cencionidespite the fact that the quantities of grapes picked and made into wine were 15% less than in 2004”.

Brunello 2005, that was assigned a 4 star rating, receives its official début on the 19th and 20th
in Montalcino at the “Benvenuto Brunello”, the event of the presentation to the press and operators.

The period of July and August 2005 was quite hot and sunny. Generally speaking well balanced weather conditions that, added to the natural characteristics of the land and the position of the Montalcino territory, allowed for an excellent development until the end of August. The rains of the first part of September did in fact delay the harvest operations.

The harvest started on the 20th of September when the sun enabled the drying of the grapes, allowing the picking to take place. The producers selected the grapes, getting rid of any that were not up to standard and diversifying the production. In this way Brunello di Montalcino was produced with the grapes that had a larger quantity of poliphenols and a higher sugar content, giving an excellent result, awarded 4 stars.

Great expectations also for Brunello Riserva 2004 that around 70 producers of Montalcino had decided to produce, riding the wave of the excellent vintage and promising first-rate results. The 2004 vintage had indeed received the maximum rating of five stars, beautiful colours and superior alcohol contents obtained with a perfect ripening of the poliphenols.

Meantime the Montalcino district closes on a positive note the year 2009: despite the difficult economic situation Brunello holds up in the world markets confirming its position in the principal countries.

Of the 7 million bottles sold in 2009, as much as 60% was sold on the international markets: while 25% of exports are destined for the United States, good sales were also recorded in Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and also in England and Japan.

But next to the big spenders new markets are emerging: Brunello is affirming itself in Northern Europe, with Sweden and Denmark at the head, and in Eastern Europe, in Russia and Poland. In Latin America the first destination of Brunello di Montalcino is Brazil, while a growing interest is manifest in Mexico.

A good market also in Asia, with Korea at the head, followed by China and India. Among the other markets to be noted is also the wealthy Dubai, where Brunello is requested in the upmarket restaurants. It is precisely to boost sales in the far East that the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino is organizing initiatives in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo next autumn.

“In this time of great commitment - concludes Cencioniwe are noting with satisfaction the forecasts of an excellent 2009 vintage, which will enable us to maintain our strength on the markets and to continue proposing Montalcino in the international panorama as an “absolute classic” of Tuscan and Italian enology”.

Great optimism therefore, also for the 2009 vintage, a year in which the Montalcino area faced with great determination the world economic crisis that is involving the entire vine growing and wine making production both in the old world and in the new wine producing countries.

But from the data collected there are comforting signs: from the 1rst of January to the 31rst of December 2009 the sales recorded were 7 million 180 thousand seals of Brunello di Montalcino, as opposed to 6 million 850 thousand during the same period in 2008, indicating a 4,82% increase. The producers’ efforts are therefore obtaining positive results.

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.