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In times when everything changes, even the “Previews of Tuscany” system, the week that, usually in February, until the pandemic (when it was exceptionally moved to May, in 2020), put the most noble territories in the spotlight and the emerging ones of the Region, it seems in front of a profound revision. Which starts from the decision of the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino, which, in the 1990s, invented the “Previews” formula (later borrowed from many other Italian denominations), and which chose to move “Benvenuto Brunello”, which marks the debut of the new vintages of the most prestigious appellation of the Region, in the middle of autumn, as already leaked in recent months, and no longer in February. Edition no. 30 by Benvenuto Brunello, thus, will be on stage from 19 to 28 November 2021, with the presentation of the 2017 Vintage and the 2016 Reserve scheduled in the Monumental Complex of Sant’Agostino (which, for a few weeks, has also hosted “Il Tempio del Brunello ”, the multimedia museum dedicated to the gastronomic and agricultural excellence of the territory, created by Opera Laboratori, leader of Italian museum services). A decision, this, explains the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino, which arises “from the need to review the Tuscany Previews project, already expressed to the Region and to the other Consortia of the territory”. “For some time we had expressed the need to make the debut event of the vintages more incisive for the market, especially the international one, which, for our Region, is worth a total of 1 billion euros in exports. In these 11 years, the Previews of Tuscany have had – explains the president of the Brunello di Montalcino Consortium, Fabrizio Bindocci –the merit of turning the spotlight on our immense wine heritage. But in a phase of great change like the current one, it is necessary to have the courage to innovate in order to achieve those promotion objectives that the companies themselves require of us. We reaffirm our willingness to dialogue and collaborate to identify other common paths for the enhancement of wine made in Tuscany “, concludes the president of the Brunello di Montalcino Consortium, Fabrizio Bindocci. For the format, strictly by invitation, the national and international press will open the “ten days” of the “Benvenuto Brunello n. 30 “. In the following days, the Consortium’s appointments will involve influencers and bloggers, sommeliers of starred restaurants and professional operators of the horeca as well as wine lovers.
A step forward, that of the Brunello Consortium, which, in all likelihood, given the appeal of the denomination, will have some effect even beyond the borders of the denomination. Even if the main Consortia involved in the “Week of Previews”, from the Chianti Classico to the Nobile di Montepulciano, from the Chianti to the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, seem oriented towards maintaining their format. While the Consortium of Bolgheri and Bolgheri Sassicaia, which has always walked down a different path, seems to have chosen the beginning of September as the moment for its territorial event, which, in this 2021, will take place on 4 September, with the Preview of the 2019 and 2020 vintages at the Castle of Castagneto Carducci, and the great gala dinner along the iconic Viale dei Cipressi.
In the meantime, however, from the rumors intercepted by WineNews, however, the will of the Tuscany Region remains to organize or sponsor a collective and common event, on the wine territories of Tuscany, in Florence, but all to be rewritten, perhaps even regardless of previews, and perhaps more oriented towards consumers and the trade. Many issues, which Consortia and the Tuscany Region are discussing.
In this sense, Winenews has collected the reactions of some of the other consortium realities of Tuscany wine, co-protagonists together with Brunello, in recent years, of the “Week of Previews”. Starting from Francesco Mazzei, president of the Maremma Doc Consortium and above all of Avito, the association that brings together all the wine consortia of the Tuscany Region: “We knew it, and I believe that the Previews have a logic that is not necessarily the same for the different Consortia, both in terms of calendar and target. It is a legitimate choice, everyone must do what they feel is right for their denomination. Nevertheless we are discussing with the Tuscany Region to recalibrate things and see what the opportunities are, I think the other Consortia confirm the Previews as they are, but it is also an opportunity for a “fine tuning”. Because it is also true that this mechanism of the Previews, so long, and a bit wearing for everyone, is losing a bit of appeal. We came to this because obviously there was a bit of tiredness about this format. And then the logic of synergies and economies of scale is important, but it is not always the priority, because everyone has their own specific needs. But like all situations of change, I read it as an opportunity to reflect and renew oneself, not as a problem “.
Clear words, as are those of Giovanni Busi, president of the Chianti Consortium, the largest in Tuscany: “we have our Chianti Lovers event in February, together with Buy Wine (from the Region, and for some time in synergy with the Consorzio del Morellino di Scansano, ed) , and we would like it to continue this way. Our new vintages, then, go out on the market on March 1st, so for us it is in the ideal times. We don’t move. By now it is not a consolidated event, because we must always grow, but in short, we always exceed 4,000 admissions in one day: a heritage that we cannot throw away, indeed, we must improve, but more resources are needed. Undoubtedly the choice of the Brunello Consortium is the breaking of a front, but it will have its reasons and resources to support a Preview on its own. Now, however, it is important to understand what the Tuscany Region wants to do, what it wants to invest in, and it is important that it does not take away the resources for the Consortia. A common regional event, apart from the Previews? Why not, as long as it is of a high standard, as a region like Tuscany deserves. And also because we have to deal with events such as those in Bordeaux, or those in Piedmont, which are of the highest level ”.
In the same vein, the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, led by Andrea Rossi: “maximum respect for the choices of others, of course. We are convinced that the format of the Previews needs to be revised in some aspects, but we would have liked to have remained united because I think that unity is strength. We will testify to the Councilor for Agriculture Stefania Saccardi our willingness to maintain the current format, the Previews in the territories work, then clearly everything can be discussed. Also of a “regional” event regardless of the territorial previews, in addition, as long as it is qualified and of true promotion. “Toscana” is an important brand, a common added value ”.
“That of the Consorzio del Brunello is a decision that we expected – add Giovanni Manetti and Carlotta Gori, president and director of the Chianti Classico Consortium – now we look forward to seeing you again with the representatives of the other Consortia who have historically always participated in the “Week of Previews”, to share choices that may be to confirm the format, perhaps with revisions as already happened in 2021, dictated by the pandemic, or perhaps even different choices. As a Consortium, we do not see the need to stop celebrating the “Week of Previews”. The Brunello Consortium has made an important choice that has its reasons, the others will identify their path, but we must confront ourselves. To date we can say that our Previews have always been satisfying and successful events, for us the Chianti Classico Collection (historically in Florence) is a significant moment, for 20 years, with extremely positive feedback even in the last edition which was exceptionally in May, due to the pandemic. We would like to continue with the “Week of Previews”, each maintaining their own specificities, but also continuing to benefit from synergies and a common framework. But it is too early to make more in-depth assessments, we must both confront the other Consortia and understand what the Tuscany Region wants to do. But it will be, however, as it always has been, an open and positive dialogue ”.
“All together we are making reflections – adds Irina Guicciardini Strozzi, at the helm of the Consortium of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, the only major white appellation in Tuscany – it being understood that the formula of the “Week of Previews” is certainly valid, especially for making its Preview in the territories, like us, and we certainly want to continue working in this direction. Clearly, assessments must be made, also based on what is changing with the pandemic, to understand whether other opportunities are opening up. But the Week is an appointment not to be abandoned, because it allows us to better tell the world about ourselves “.

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Marco Ribaudo

Marco Ribaudo

For the love of food and wine! Marco Ribaudo, Certified Sommelier, with 25 years in the food and beverage industry now invites you to join him in his latest adventure, the opening of la Cucina del Vino to share his culture and passion for creating unforgettable memories around the table.

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