Brunello Consortium Director Confirms “Irregularities”

In the wake of widespread rumors that Italy’s Treasury Department is poised to indict scores of Brunello producers on charges of fraud, VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani spoke with director of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, Stefano Campatelli, who has confirmed that “irregularities” have been found in wines labeled as Brunello produced by at least twenty producers in Montalcino.

According to outside sources who have requested anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly about the investigation, that number could be as high as 80 or 90.

Campatelli did not deny or confirm rumors, first reported by Franco Ziliani on Friday, March 21, 2008, that scores of producers are about to be indicted on fraud charges by Italy’s Treasury Department after an investigation revealing the presence of Apulian-grown grapes in wines labeled as Brunello di Montalcino (the Brunello di Montalcino appellation requires that wines labeled as Brunello are made with 100% Sangiovese Grosso grapes grown in Montalcino).

According to a March 6, 2008 report by the Corriere Fiorentino, fourteen persons have already been charged with labeling wines made with Apulian grapes as Tuscan, including Lamberto Frescobaldi, Director of Production of the Frescobaldi estate.

VinoWire reported the Frescobaldi indictments on March 10, 2008.

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6 thoughts on “Brunello Consortium Director Confirms “Irregularities”

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Wine Rant - 03/26/08 - Brunello, Brunello - say it ain’t so. | a food and wine blog - Baltimore, MD

  2. Pingback: VinoWire scoop: five Brunello producers indicted for fraudulent wine « Do Bianchi

  3. I just received this reply in regards to the issue:

    26/3/2008
    PRESS RELEASE
    THE CONSORTIUM OF BRUNELLO CONTROLS ITS OWN PRODUCERS
    Since the year 2004 the Consortium of Vino Brunello di Montalcino Wine was
    put in charge, by the Ministry of Food, Agricultural and Forestry Policies, of
    controlling both vineyards and wines with the Brunello di Montalcino denomination.
    As in other occasions the Consortium of Brunello was the first one to be invested with
    this role.

    This task is carried out with a great sense of responsibility and meticulous care
    by the staff of the Consortium with thorough inspections of the 2000 hectares of
    registered Brunello di Montalcino vineyards. The controls effected concern both the
    vineyards and the wines that are in the process of being aged and bottled.
    With regard to information that has appeared in these last days on a few web
    sites concerning alleged violations of the production rules of Brunello di Montalcino
    Wine, the safeguarding Consortium has put out the following declaration:
    1. Rumours according to which Montalcino producers used wines from the South
    of Italy for their 2003 Brunello: this is an extremely serious accusation which
    we find hard to believe and for which the Consortium has found absolutely no
    proof.
    2. As for the purity in the Brunello vineyards, in 2007 the Consortium completed
    the inspection of over 1667 hectares of registered vineyards. In the course of
    these inspections, begun in 2004, a few cases of non-conforming vines were
    found on 17 hectares, equivalent to about 1% of the vineyards inspected. We
    can therefore affirm that until 2007, more than 99% of the vineyards registered
    in the Brunello di Montalcino Roles are completely within the production
    Regulations.
    It is the declared intention of the Board of Administration of the Consortium
    of Brunello di Montalcino Wine, to carry out its task as it has always done, of
    safeguarding the wines of the four denominations of the Montalcino territory, both
    with the instruments for controlling established by the legislation and with the even
    more stringent ones of the internal regulations of the Consortium.
    CONSORZIO DEL VINO
    BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
    Costa del Municipio, 1
    53024 MONTALCINO – Siena – Italy
    tel. 0577 848246
    fax 0577 849425
    e-mail info@consorziobrunellodimontalcino.it
    web http://www.consorziobrunellodimontalcino

  4. Pingback: “Che Bella, Italia” « spume

  5. Jeremy:
    Michael’s post is interesting. Would 17 hectares or fewer of nonconforming vines produce enough juice to “adulterate” the Brunellos at 10 percent?
    This is an intriguing detective case, fun to chase in the Italian press and here. It will make VinItaly even more interesting than usual. Grazie mille.

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