Consorzio Collio 2024 (175x100)

Brunello di Montalcino is a champion of notoriety: it is known by 2 out of 3 consumers

On the podium also Chianti and Prosecco. And it flies to position No. 2 on the “Top 100” by Wine Spectator with Fattoria dei Barbi's 2016 Riserva
Montalcino and the rows of Sangiovese

Contemplated, loved and revered: Brunello di Montalcino is confirmed as the champion wine for notoriety in Italy, known to 2 out of 3 consumers, as revealed by the annual report by “Wine Intelligence” that analyzed the strength and recognizability of Italy’s 46 main wine appellations. A giant of celebrity in the face of a “nano-share” of vineyard area, amounting to just 0.3% of Italy’s vineyard, the prince of Tuscan reds tops the list, surpassing such giants as Chianti (No. 2), Prosecco (No. 3), Chianti Classico (No. 4), Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (No. 5), Franciacorta (No. 6), Barolo (No. 7), Barbera d’Asti (No. 8), Asti and Moscato d’Asti (No. 9) and Lambrusco (No. 10), proving to be a true brand of a territory that, from today to November 21, with “Benvenuto Brunello” will bring journalists, buyers, Masters of Wine and wine professionals to discover Brunello di Montalcino 2018, Riserva 2017 and Rosso di Montalcino 2021.

To animate what we could define as a real “Benvenuto Brunello Off”, tastings and dinners in some of the most prestigious wineries of the territory (strictly by invitation), including the vertical organized by Col d’Orcia (November 12), which, from Rosso 2018 to Brunello di Montalcino 1968, will retrace 50 years of history in the glass, and the world premiere presentation (November 10) of Brunello di Montalcino Giovanni Neri 2018, dedicated to the founder of Casanova di Neri, the only Brunello estate to have reached the top of Wine Spectator’s “Top 100”, the most prestigious international ranking, in 2006, with Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2001. A step lower, at position No. 2, was, instead, placed, yesterday, in the same ranking sixteen years later, the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2016 of Fattoria dei Barbi (in an ideal podium in which the third place went up, in 2002, the Brunello di Montalcino 1997 of Castello Banfi, ed.), historical griffe of the territory, which produces Brunello since 1892, and among the 25 wineries that, in 1967, gave birth to the DOC. A fine sign, for what “is now without great doubt the best wine in Italy”, comments, to WineNews, Stefano Cinelli Colombini, at the helm of Fattoria dei Barbi. “The Riserva has enormous potential, all to be explored, which in a moment like the one Brunello di Montalcino is going through, of great change, could play a fundamental role”, adds Stefano Cinelli Colombini.

Appreciated equally by women and men, Brunello is a wine capable of intercepting big spender and mature consumers, both in terms of age (30% are younger Boomers, between 55 and 64 years old) and skills. Among those familiar with it, it registers a 20% conversion rate to purchase (up on last year), occurring mainly in the Center (29%) and the South (29%). On the purchasing front, Prosecco dominates the rankings, with nearly 1 in 2 consumers (47%) putting their hands in their wallets.

“We are pleased to be at the top of a top 5 that features as many as 3 Tuscan appellations”, comments Fabrizio Bindocci, president of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, “and it is a result that rewards a production policy aimed at preferring quality over quantity. Our labels tell a territory, a story, an identity: Brunello is an interpreter, a protagonist wine”. As noted by the survey, which also studied the habits of wine lovers in Italy, the experience among those who buy Brunello is in fact almost always based on the pleasure of tasting (95%) and taste (94%), with an almost solemn attitude in the choice (94%). Values, these, significantly higher than the average preferences expressed by Italian consumers.

The popularity of Brunello di Montalcino is growing, but so is the average price, and volumes are holding up, a fact that is anything but trivial in the current framework. As recounted by data from the Brunello Price Observatory - which collects data voluntarily provided by wineries - on sales in the first 9 months 2022, trend growth in September marks a +21.5% in terms of value, with a leap in the average price between “Vintage” and “Reserve” product - now close to 27 euros a bottle ex cellar (+14%, with peaks of over 24% in the US), for a total of 7 million bottles sold - well beyond the inflationary push. Also on the rise, surprisingly for a last vintage (2017) not so rich, were volumes, up 6%.

The projection over the 12 months to 2022 leads to a total value of Brunello sales close to 250 million euros. The numbers for Rosso di Montalcino are also on the rise, with increases in both value (+20%) and volume (+9%). Among the countries, very well the domestic demand, which is confirmed to be on the rise, and now represents about 1/3 of the entire market, thanks to a growth in volumes marketed that exceeds 17%, with values at +31%. But it is also abroad that is pulling, starting with the United States, where with the strong dollar the very strong rise in average value (+25%) has weighed less, against stable volumes. Behind the U.S., which alone is worth 33% of exports in value, Canadian demand is flying (+27%), and Germany is also growing in full-bodied double digits, outpacing the U.K., the only one among the biggies in trouble (-15%).

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