Allegrini 2018

Besides prices, the social and economic role plays a big part on the territory of the denomination

“The social value of what we do spreads far beyond the price at which we sell our wine”, said Albino Armani (Pinot Grigio delle Venezie)
Pinot Grigio vineyards

“The value of a denomination weighs much more than the average price at which wine sells, as it encompasses many other aspects; first and foremost, the social aspect”, are the words of Albino Armani, who has broadened the awareness by shifting the focus to what is behind specific data. Armani is at the head of DOC Pinot Grigio of Venice and in four years has brought order into a production counting 230 million bottles, while also uniting the many players in a gigantic territory. As he told WineNews, “the purpose of a denomination like ours is to generate income for thousands of winegrowers, who in this kind of territory do not have equally profitable alternatives, if not the most painful one, which is abandoning agriculture. Therefore, the social value of what we are doing, through great sacrifice, is enormous, but it is also what every entrepreneur should do, and that is, give back something to his own territory, in terms of time, as well”.
This is a model that can be extended to other Italian denominations, while maintaining price as an important component. The formula, however, is not necessarily the same for everyone. “Let’s take the example of Prosecco”, Albino Armani continued, “which many people today tend to criticize, precisely because its average prices are considered too low. However, taking into consideration the quality of life of those who made wine in those areas up until twenty years ago, there has been a definite and evident improvement. Young people, who once would have been forced to go somewhere else, are instead, today making Prosecco known around the world and investing in the territory. I understand and consider it totally legitimate that in Conegliano Valdobbiadene there are those who have to deal with different costs and are looking for something more, but to doubt the success of the Prosecco system seems to me quite unfair and not in touch with reality”.
It has taken years to build a solid system, and it will be a long road for Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC, too, which has already achieved some results, as Albino Armani pointed out. “We have succeeded in bringing together the many players of a denomination that involves wine multinationals of the caliber of E & J Gallo, and also in finding an understanding with the smallest producers and agricultural organizations. Furthermore, we have lowered the maximum yields, from TGI to DOC, to 180 quintals per hectare, of which only 150 can be claimed DOC. Some people think it is still too much, but we must keep in mind that the TGI limit was 190 quintals per hectare, and still today, in many other areas, it is as much as 195 quintals per hectare. This is, therefore, a really important step. This year’s harvest was definitely less abundant than 2018, as it was in the rest of Italy, and according to our initial estimates, pending official data, yields should reach an average of 127 quintals per hectare, which is significantly below the maximum limit allowed. Additionally, blocking planting is the only way to reassess wine heritage, together obviously with price increases and keeping in mind that even 5 cents more per liter, for us, is a good result and a step towards the economic sustainability of our winemaking”.

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