Presentation of the Brunello 2013, Riserva 2012 and Rosso 2016 vintages

A turnover of € 180 million in 2017, with 70% in the export sector. Today and tomorrow there will be plenty of chances to exchange views on the future ofthe wine, market and territory of Montalcino, plus excellent international guests


Montalcino, 16 February 2018 – Today marks the opening of the 26th edition of Benvenuto Brunello, the “preview” of Tuscany’s excellent red wine which, this year, presents Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Riserva 2012, Rosso di Montalcino 2016, Moscadello and Sant’Antimo.  

Together with the wines, which are the absolute stars of our event – commented Patrizio Cencioni, Chairman of Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino – this year we wanted to focus on reflecting on the future of the wine and of the market, together with leading experts in the global e-commerce sector, journalists and meteorologists. We also wanted to expand the offer aimed at wine aficionados who, starting from last year’s edition, are invited to take part in this event and can attend the four workshops we have organised so that they gain in-depth knowledge about our designations, along with some bits of trivia. The tastings continue to be the heart and soul of Benvenuto Brunello; however, we wanted to give a new imprint to the “preview” because, if it is true that the world of wine is changing, the events associated with it must also evolve accordingly”.


This morning, Luciano Ferraro, journalist from the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera and author of the blog divini.corriere.it, talked with the main players of the Manfredi Minutelli network, food & wine manager for Alibaba, with Andrea Nardi Dei, founder of Vino75, and with Marco Magnacavallo, CEO of Tannico, about the importance of e-commerce on the global wine market.


According to the research presented by Tannico, market leader for online wine shopping in Italy, Brunello has the second highest online sales among red wines; however, it is first if we consider the segment of ultra-premium and luxury wines (in other words, those costing more than € 25 a bottle). More specifically, Italian consumers of these high-end products have increased by 30% since 2016 to the present time. Lastly, it is interesting to note that customers who purchased Brunello online in 2017 spent 70% of their annual budget, which is around € 560, buying red and sparkling wines, especially Champagne.


Protection and safeguard are the two key words of the Associazione Nazionale Città del Tartufo, which this morning presented its candidacy programme as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for “truffle hunting and extraction in Italy: traditional knowledge and practice”. The intent of the association is to bear witness to the presence and to preserve the set of values, the traditional world and the culture that bring together the territories and communities tied to the truffle. Truffle as culture, and not only as a precious product of the earth. “Our presence in a context of excellence – commented Michele Boscagli, chairman of the Association – aims to expand the audience of connoisseurs and re-launch it in a domestic and international context, just like the one offered by Benvenuto Brunello”.   


Today’s meetings – commented Patrizio Cencionimake us realise more and more that only by exploiting the huge resource offered by our territory, its development and protection, from both the standpoint of the product and of the growth of all that which surrounds wine, we will be able to overcome the challenges presented to us by the changing market, and which the Consortium is ready to seize”.


Tomorrow, Saturday 17 February, there will be a debate, led by Ferraro, with the meteorologist Paolo Sottocorona, the expert Robert Camuto from the authoritative magazine Winespectator, and a few young wine producers from Montalcino. The debate will focus on opportunities and proposals concerning new wine-growing methods in light of the climatic changes underway.


The conference will close the traditional Saturday programme of Benvenuto Brunello, which includes the awarding of the Leccio d’Oro prizes, the presentation of the stars to the 2017 vintage, and the unveiling of the commemorating plaque for this year’s vintage which, as we all know, will be featuring the renowned artist  Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler.


Like every year, Benvenuto Brunello is also a chance to take stock of the trend, in terms of production, export and turnover, of the Consortium’s designations and of the entire Montalcino territory. The year 2017 is characterised by stability: the export figure is confirmed, settling at 70% of the total production. The market leaders are the target countries of the U.S. (over 30%), followed by Europe (with the U.K., Germany and Switzerland at the helm) with 20%, the Asian markets (China, Japan, Hong Kong, etc.) with 15%, Canada (12%), and Central and South America (8%). The remaining 15% is taken up by other markets. Production also confirmed itself to be stable: 9,010,369 bottles of Brunello produced in 2017 (0.65% less compared to 2016), and 4,617,384 of Rosso (-0.34% compared to the previous year). The production of Sant’Antimo (250,000 bottles) and Moscadello (40,000 units) is also stable. The turnover of the wine-growing and wine-producing sector in Montalcino increased with respect to the previous year, totalling € 180 million in 2017 (compared to € 170 million in 2016). The estimated value of 1 hectare of vineyard in Montalcino is also stable, settling around € 700,000, with a revaluation, in just fifty years, of 4,405% (data source: Winenews). Lastly, the tourist flows in the town continue to be on the upswing: this year, more than 1,500,000 people visited Montalcino (a 25% increase compared to the 1,200,000 visitors of 2016), with more than 150,000 overnight stays (+11%).