TTB lifts certification requirement for Brunello

In a statement published on March 29, 2010, the U.S. Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) officially announced that it has lifted its requirement that importers of Brunello di Montalcino obtain an Italian government declaration that the wines have been made in accordance with Italian appellation regulations.

According to Industry Circular 2010-3, “effective immediately, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is no longer requiring importers of Brunello di Montalcino wine to obtain a declaration from the Government of Italy certifying that the product’s vintage date and brand name meet the requirements of the Brunello di Montalcino Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) and that the product is acceptable for sale as such in Italy.”

[Click here to read the entire statement.]

In the wake of allegations that Brunello producers had been using unauthorized grapes in their wines, the TTB began to require Italian government certification of all Brunello di Montalcino wines imported to the U.S. in June 2008. The lifting of the ban marks the end of a controversy that has been called “Brunellopoli” or “Brunellogate” in the Italian- and English-language media.

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