Winemakers, bottlers, observers, and other actors on the ground anxiously await the announcement of the new president of the advisory council of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, the Brunello producers association, expected Thursday.
Last week, in an interview entitled “If I became president of the Consortium,” presidential front-runner Ezio Rivella spoke to the Corriere di Siena, the local edition of the Corriere Nazionale. In the interview, Rivella pledged not to allow grapes other than Sangiovese in the production of Brunello di Montalcino. (The story was first reported by VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani on his blog Vino al Vino. The following quotes have been translated from the original. Translation by VinoWire.)
If there is someone, with innovative ideas, who can better interpret the dynamic of the current market and modern enologic trends, I will be happy to step aside…
However, if I were to become president of the Consortium [Brunello producers association], my working platform would begin with the series of proposals recently brought to the attention of the [body’s] administrative council by the National Independent Farmers Confederation [of Italy], the General Confederation of Italian Agriculture, and the Italian Farmers Confederation.
[Editor’s note: The first of the 15 bullet points of the proposal submitted by Italy’s top 3 agricultural unions, a document entitled “Proposals for the Brunello Consortium,” which surfaced in early May, calls for Brunello to be continue to be made from 100% Sangiovese grapes. The second calls for a “reevaluation” and “relaunching” of the Rosso del Montalcino and Sant’Antimo appellations. Many observers and actors on the ground, including the “father of Brunello” Franco Biondi Santi, have proposed a revision of the Rosso appellation to allow grapes other than Sangiovese.]
As far as I am concerned, I can only reiterate my commitment and even greater commitment for a plan of action built on ‘blood, sweat, and tears,’ with the aim of relaunching Montalcino, a unique and singular territory where agricultural production of the highest quality allows us to obtain wines that cannot be imitated nor assimilated.
[Editor’s note: The preamble to the “Proposals for the Brunello Consortium” begins with “Montalcino is a unique and singular territory where agricultural production of the highest quality allows us to obtain wines that cannot be imitated nor assimilated.”]
And Montalcino is a territory where Sangiovese will be the greatest exponent.
The job ahead of us is tough if we wish to reconquer the prestige of the recent past and expand our commitment to quality, which is not represented solely by respect for appellation regulations. And in any case, let’s just go ahead and make it clear: the appellation must continue to be produced only with Sangiovese grapes aged for four years. Quality is also represented by the daily, constant work we perform in the vineyards and in the cellar, by reviving our marketing strategies and reposition our supply and demand equilibrium. And we need to achieve all of the above in the spirit of our shared goals, as we attempt to eliminate the recent tension and internal conflicts that have affected Montalcino.
Rivella currently serves at the president of the Pian di Rota estate in Castiglione d’Orcia south of Montalcino.