Benvenuto Brunello, the preview of the king of Sangiovese, held from 15 to 18 February, not only revealed the new vintages but was also an opportunity to take stock of the production, export and sales trends of the appellations grouped in the Brunello Consortium and the Montalcino terroir in general. In 2018, 8 million bottles of Brunello were produced (with a slight drop compared to 2017) and 4.5 million bottles of Rosso. Exports account for 70% of the overall production with the USA heading the charts, followed by Europe, the Asian markets, Canada and Central/South America. The turnover of the Montalcino winegrowing industry is worth 160 million Euros. Tourism flows are also up by +10% compared to last year when 1.5 million visitors were recorded and overnight stays rose by +20%.
Benvenuto Brunello 2019 has certainly been a “sporty” edition, partly due to the presence of Paralympic champion Alex Zanardi, who signed the celebrative tile of the latest vintage, as well as the presentation of the permanent route of the Eroica Montalcino race on the premises of the Brunello Consortium, an evocative and storied dirt track cycling event held on the last Sunday of May, south of Siena, between the Val d’Arbia, the Val d’Orcia and the Crete Senesi. The 153 kilometer permanent route, which passes through five municipalities (Montalcino, Buonconvento, San Quirico, Pienza and Trequanda), was founded to safeguard and develop the fine heritage of dirt roads in this area. The project is shared and supported also by President Patrizio Cencioni and by the entire board of the Brunello Consortium.