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Allegrini 2018
WINE TOURISM

2022 is the year of recovery for wine territories: the Montalcino “case” and its record numbers

During the summer in the city of Brunello, tourism was up + 20% compared to pre-Covid, and + 87% compared to 2021. Thanks to foreign tourists returning, Americans in the lead

The year 2022 is drawing to a close, and not counting the problems related to war, inflation and exorbitant energy, it was without a doubt the year that marked recovery in wine tourism in the great Italian wine territories, from the Langhe to Bolgheri, and from Valpolicella to Franciacorta. Professionals and tourist operators have confirmed the fact, and we can also add the numbers of one of the most loved and famous wine territories in the world, Montalcino, which, especially during the summer, “has returned to being the global kingdom of wine tourism. After three years of forced absences, the historical patrons of our wineries are back. Wine enthusiasts from all over the world came on a “pilgrimage” to Brunello, and they discovered that wine is not the only element that makes a difference here. Montalcino is also Unesco landscape of the Val d’Orcia, biodiversity, agriculture and lifestyle, proving that there is quality, high-spending as well as culturally demanding wine tourism. In addition, wine can drive the economy of an entire territory, while respecting the environment”. Fabrizio Bindocci, president of the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino wine, commented on the forecast of tourists (as the statistical office of the Tuscan Region has identified) in view of “Benvenuto Brunello” 2022, the preview event of the new vintages scheduled to be held in Montalcino from November 11th to 21st, in Montalcino. And the vines are even more beautiful now in their autumn colors (as narrated in this video).
“These data”, President Bindocci added, “have confirmed this summer’s impressions. We had never seen such a high turnout from May to August 2022, and high quality as well. The merit goes to the return en masse of Americans, Brazilians, British, Canadians and Australians; in other words, those who before the Pandemic were the historical regulars in Montalcino. The result is, in fact, a record for a rural area that has an accommodation facility for every 35 inhabitants, and where space is certainly not lacking. Over the 4 month period, 120.000 visitors reserved overnight stays, which is 20% more than the pre-Covid in 2019 and 87% increase in foreign visitors compared to 2021, when Italian visitors had kept wine tourism hospitality alive. This year, the new shift brings us back to definite normality, as foreigners from 60 Nations are returning to represent almost 70% of the total guests in the village hotels, agritourism, wineries and winery relais, wine bars, fiaschetterie, and - starting from 2021 - in the “Tempio del Brunello” Museum, which has just won the Tiqets innovation award, the world's leading online booking platform for museums and attractions”.
“The temporary data”, the Consortium noted, “ has revealed that arrivals seem to have returned to pre-Pandemic typology; that is big spenders growing from third Countries, which were obviously the Americans, the number one foreign market for Brunello di Montalcino sales, but also Brazilians and Canadians, as well as the closer to home, German and British. An analysis of macro-areas results in 25% of the total tourists come from the Americas (which were 7% in 2021 and just over 2% in 2020), an increase in the number of guests from the European Union and a decrease in Italian tourists, who represent 1/3 of the demand, but in 2020, had reached 70%.
In Montalcino, there are 3.500 hectares of vineyards registered under DOC and DOCG and 2.100 hectares of Brunello, a value that has intentionally remained the same for 25 years. What has not changed, instead are the hectares of forest. There are 31.000 hectares in the area, half are forest land (and uncultivated), 10% olive groves and only 15% vineyards, then pastures, arable land and other crops. The agricultural community (one in two is agricultural) is one of the richest in the world and among the most virtuous at the National level. Its economy is based founded half on agricultural businesses and the unemployment rate does not reach 2%, plus it absorbs a large part of the workforce of the neighboring municipalities (4.000 employees in peak periods). The vineyard reaches value peaks that today touch a value of almost 1 million euros per hectare, for a total of over 2 billion euros. According to the Winenews analysis, growth in value of the vineyard, compared to fifty years ago, is 4.500%. The tendency to green is very high, and the organic vineyard today is close to 50% of the total cultivated for DOCG. In 2021, Brunello di Montalcino was the best known wine among Italian consumers, having a reputation of 67%, according to the annual Wine Intelligence report, based on a representative sample of consumers from Italy. 137 wineries will participate in "Benvenuto Brunello" 2022, for tasting Brunello di Montalcino 2018, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2017, Rosso di Montalcino 2021, in addition to two other wines of the appellation, the historic Montalcino wine, which has been famous since the 1500s, Moscadello, and Sant’Antimo. The event will therefore be 9 full days of tastings, between Montalcino and four International wine “capitals”, such as London, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, where "Brunello Day" will be celebrated on November 17th, with ad hoc events and tastings.

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