“Three years ago I was in favor of the addition of softening wines or grapes to Sangiovese for Rosso di Montalcino,” said Biondi Santi in a phone interview today with VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani, who quotes the signore del Brunello on his blog Vino al Vino. “Today, things have changed and my position is no to any change to the appellation.”
Currently proposed changes would allow producers to blend grapes other than Sangiovese into their Rosso di Montalcino. The changes, he noted, would allow producers to transform 500 hectares of unsellable Sant’Antimo and IGT Toscana into Rosso di Montalcino.
“We would enter into the same thicket as 1966,” said Biondi Santi, “when the appellation ‘Vino Rosso dai Vigneti di Brunello’ was created.” [editor's note: this appellation was changed to Rosso di Montalcino fifteen years later] “In the fall of 1966, Montalcino was obligated to found the Brunello Consortium, which became operative on January 1, 1967, with my father. After three months of negotiations with other producers, we decided not to enter the consortium because we strongly disapproved of how it was taking advantage of an equivocation at the time: the grape variety was also called Brunello and it was considered a subvariety of Sangiovese! Therefore, a no is indispensable in order to clarify.”