Carlo Ferrini on the Brunello Controversy

Italian enologist Carlo Ferrini spoke to VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani over the weekend at the first meeting of the Wine Creators conference in Ronda (Málaga) Spain.

Although Carlo Ferrini (left) has previously advocated revisions of Brunello di Montalcino appellation regulations, he told VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani that today, he opposes any changes that would allow for the use of grape varieties other than Sangiovese. In the light of the recent controversy, he said, a change in regulations would be a grave error.

Ferrini expressed his dismay with the Siena magistrate’s handling of the investigation and the coverage the controversy has received in the press. Roughly 90 wineries (nearly half the number of Brunello producers) could be implicated – to one degree or another – in the ongoing inquiry, he said, and he noted that few winemakers are in a position to criticize their colleagues. (Ferrini also revealed that Casanova di Neri, for whom he has consulted in the past, has been named in the investigation for minor irregularities.)

According to Ferrini, the investigation was launched after a Brunello producer repeatedly sent anonymous letters to the Siena magistrate’s office. The producer and two of his winery’s consultants were asked to join the magistrate’s investigative panel together with a noted enologist who does not work in Montalcino, said Ferrini.

As a possible solution to the current crisis, Ferrini proposed that the Italian government intervene and resolve the controversy internally, within the system of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, the Brunello producers association. Alternatively, he suggested that a “moratorium” could be set into place, whereby producers would be granted 2-3 years to address and correct any irregularities without repercussion.

The former technical director of the Chianti Consortium and consultant to some of Tuscany’s most important wineries, Ferrini was named a “Wine Creator” by a select group of journalists and wine experts at the first-ever Wine Creator conference held April 18-19 in Ronda (Málaga), Spain.


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