As members of the Italian wine trade gather in Verona for the last day of Vinitaly (the industry’s annual fair), the Brunellopoli or Brunellogate controversy continues to generate hearsay and second-hand anecdotes among fair-goers.
According to a statement issued last week by Brunello Consortium president Francesco Marone Cinzano, Italian prosecutors are investigating 13 wineries and have sequestered wine produced by 4 wineries (Antinori, Argiano, Banfi, and Frescobaldi). The statement was issued after Cinzano met with Italy’s Minister of Agricultural Policy Paolo de Castro. In an interview published by the Italian daily La Stampa Friday, April, 4, Cinzano also revealed that he and his winery, Col d’Orcia, are being investigated.
Adding to confusion, Italian newspapers reported Friday that a government investigation has revealed the presence of toxins in low-cost wines. The investigation was quickly dubbed Velenitaly by the Italian press (a play on veleno or poison and Vinitaly).
The editors of Vinowire will continue to cover the “scandal” as the facts emerge. In the meantime, we encourage readers to enjoy and to continue to believe in Brunello di Montalcino – one of the world’s greatest wines and one of Italy’s most important exports. While rumors and hearsay abound, only one thing is certain: the number of wineries under investigation represents a fraction of the appellation (which includes more than 250 producers).