We are optimists by nature in Montalcino, but even we could never have expected such a success.
It seemed impossible to duplicate last year’s success, when more than 250 journalists flocked to the preview, and yet Benvenuto Brunello confirmed and exceeded its own record. In fact, this year 300 Italian and foreign journalists flocked to Montalcino for preview tastings of the vintages – Brunello 2014, which despite the difficulties, proved to live up to its fame as a result to the excellent work carried out by producers in the vineyards, 2013 Reserve, 2017 Red, Moscadello and Sant’Antimo. In addition to the press, more than 3,000 trade visitors and wine lovers literally invaded the Sant’Agostino complex and the tasting tables.
“We are very satisfied with the results achieved, and this success is a worthy conclusion to 2018, a year in which we have witnessed an increase in the number of visitors to our area – commented Consortium President, Patrizio Cencioni. More and more tourists, enthusiasts and experts come to Montalcino, and not only at harvest times or in the summer. This leads us to believe that not only are we able to offer a product that is unique in Italy and worldwide, but that we are increasingly able to ensure an offer that meets the demands of a high profile visitor seeking uniqueness and an all-round experience”.
Enhancing the preview programme were two conferences which attracted the interest of the public in attendance. In particular, the comparison between Brunello and French wines brought to light the French advantage created in the past to “keep at bay” the eager Italian cousin, who has still to grow in terms of numbers, but not of quality.
Saturday was Alex Zanardi’s day – he won over everyone with his passion, congeniality and overwhelming determination, and presented the Consortium with the 2018 vintage 4-star celebratory tile.
This year the event was once more the object of a great deal of social media attention, which participants at Benvenuto Brunello were able to see for themselves on the Social Wall, where content posted by users was displayed on each of the 4 days. Alex Zanardi equalled Sting’s pulling power – if the English singer-songwriter was the protagonist of the celebratory tile last year, prompting a boom in social content with the official hashtag #BenvenutoBrunello2018, increasing the previous year’s numbers five-fold, there was no less attention from journalists, those in the industry and tourists visiting Montalcino in 2019, also prompted by Alex Zanardi’s presence. Indeed, #BenvenutoBrunello2019 was used in 800 posts on Instagram alone, on the same level as last year. Further confirmation of the event’s appeal on social media also came from Twitter, where user generated content about the event posted by users who came to Montalcino from all over the world put Benvenuto Brunello 2019 among the trending topics.
Also confirmed was the validity of the entrance fee formula for enthusiasts, with the response testifying to wine lovers’ great interest in Brunello.
On Saturday, the Leccio d’Oro 2019 was awarded to Enoteca di Ghino in Pienza (Siena) for the “Italy wineshop” category, the Reale restaurant in Castel di Sangro (L’Aquila) for the “Italy restaurant” category, Hedonism Wines, London for the “foreign wineshop” category and the Ozio restaurant in Tokyo for the “foreign restaurant” category.