Source: Sapori del Piemonte.
It took nine hours of negotiations to reach an accord between Moscato growers and Moscato d’Asti bottlers in Piedmont last week, thus averting an 11th-hour crisis for grape growers.
Claudio Sacchetto, regional assessor for the Piedmont agriculture authority, claimed victory, noting that the new 2-year contract brought higher prices for grape growers and helped to bolster their security by establishing new guidelines for yields and by limiting the amount of wine spumante producers can reserve at any given time (bottlers often reserve wine to be bottled and shipped as demand increases).
A spokesman for bottlers, Lorenzo Barbero (Campari) told an interviewer that “we could have reached an agreement much sooner” and called the agreement “counter productive,” noting that bottlers would have preferred to pay more for higher quality grapes instead of paying a fixed rate for the entire harvest.
The news of an agreement arrives in tandem with an announcement by Italian agricultural minister Giancarlo Galan that he has approved emergency distillation of 220,000 hectoliters of Barbera, Dolcetto, and Brachetto that Piedmont producers have been unable to sell.
“The entire administration is committed to addressing this serious crisis faced by some of the most celebrated DOCG and DOC wines in Piedmont, a land of excellence in the world of wine,” said the minister in a statement.
The announcement comes in the wake of a large protest organized by Piedmont winemakers and grape growers earlier this month in Asti.