THE LECCIO D'ORO PRIZE AND THE CELEBRATORY TILE
THE TRADITION CONTINUES IN THE 2011 EDITION
OF BENVENUTO BRUNELLO
The prize-winners of the Leccio d’Oro 2011:
this year are from Tuscany, Veneto and USA
The tile commemorates 150 years of Italian Unification
Pivotal moments of the 2011 Benvenuto Brunello are the awarding of the Leccio d’Oro prize and the placing of the celebratory tile.
Prize-winners of the Leccio D’Oro this year are the RISTORANTE ROMANO of Viareggio (LU) for the restaurant , the ENOTECA LA MIA CANTINA of Padua for the wine-shop category and l’OSTERIA RISTORANTE NOSTRANA of Portland (Oregon) for the bistrot category.
Il Ristorante Romano (www.romanoristorante.itof Romano and Roberto Franceschini was born in Viareggio in 1966 when young Romano and his sixteen year old wife Franca opened the first restaurant in Via Mazzini. Since 2001 their son Roberto has also taken part in the management of the family restaurant, with Franca always in the kitchen and her husband and son receiving and serving in the dining room. Among the Ristorante Romano’s clients are Conte Giovanni Nuvoletti Perdomini and renowned figures of Versilia such as Mario Tobino and Francesca Duranti. The restaurant serves excellent fish as well as several meat dishes to accompany the numerous Brunellos on the wine list.)
The wine-shop La Mia Cantina (www.lamiacantina.it) of Nicola and Marta Valentini was founded in 1979 by Francesco Valentini, who ran it devotedly for thirty years. His personality and charisma left their imprint on the business brand, inspiring the trust of many an aficionado. Situated in the historic centre of Padua, the wine-shop offers a choice of almost 1200 labels from all over the world; There are 900 Italian and foreign wines with a considerable amount of Brunellos and Montalcino wines.
The bistrot restaurant Nostrana (http://nostrana.com), the best restaurant 2005 according to The Oregonian, was born that same year in Portland, Oregon, thanks to the passion for authentic dishes of Cathy Whims and her partner David West. Nostrana is a typical Italian tavern that serves seasonal classic and creative dishes reflecting Cathy’s close ties to the farmers of the North West coast. Many Montalcino estates figure on the wine list with their Brunello and their Rosso di Montalcino.
The jury that chose the award-winners is made up, as always , of the President of the Consorzio Ezio Rivella and the members of the Presidential Committee Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Marco Cortonesi, Giancarlo Pacenti and Fabrizio Bindocci, experts Allan Bay, renowned food and wine journalist and collaborator of Corriere della Sera, author of the "Vivi Milano" column; Wine and Food writer for the American market Faith Willinger; the president of the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (AIS) Antonello Maietta and the president of Gruppo del Gusto of the Foreign Press in Italy Alfredo Tesio.
The celebratory tile, that will be affixed, following the tradition, to the outside wall of Montalcino’s Old Town Hall bearing the number of stars awarded to the 2010 harvest, represents the photographic image of a young woman with the Montalcino fortress on her head, an ironic yet optimistic periphrasis of the dame with a turreted crown symbolizing Italy. The placing of the tile will be accompanied this year by a medal and a letter of the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, who wanted thus to express his esteem for the whole of Italian enology that in Montalcino on the occasion of the Benvenuto Brunello is commemorating its spectacular ascent from its humble conditions in the middle of the 19th century to the international success of today. The “calendar of Brunello”, that one can admire in the historic centre of Montalcino is a veritable art gallery with works by artists such as Sandro Chia and Oliviero Toscani, fashion designers such as Roberto Cavalli and Ottavio Missoni, cartoonist Emilio Giannelli or sport champions such as Deborah Compagnoni.