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Allegrini 2024
WINE AND TERRITORY

Chianti Classico, healthy district growing in prestige and value in world markets

A snapshot of an area working together and looking to the future from the “Chianti Classico Collection”

On the strength of its intact beauty, growing prestige, and increasingly recognized quality, as evidenced also by the 7 wines of the territory present in the “Top 100” 2023 by “Wine Spectator”m and with an increasingly high positioning in the markets, with an average price increased by 7% in 2023 compared to 2022, and 13% compared to 2021, also thanks to the driving effect of the “Gran Selezione”, the apex of the Chianti Classico quality pyramid, to which, with the 2023 vintage, the Additional Geographical Units have been added to the label, the Black Rooster territory ploughs with a certain serenity and concrete optimism the stormy sea of the wine market, which, at the general level, sees consumption and sales declining, especially for red wines. “The appellation is healthy and in balance, we come from a difficult 2023 both in the markets and in the vineyard, with not much production but very high quality, our reputation and positioning are growing and the Gran Selezione, which is turning 10 years old, is working very well, as are beginning to do the Uga, which is also appealing to consumers who want to know even more about the wine they drink, and are pushing producers toward ever higher quality and territoriality of Chianti Classico wines”, Giovanni Manetti, president of the Black Rooster Consortium, which is celebrating its first 100 years, celebrated at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence, with the “Chianti Classico Century” exhibition that traces the first 100 years of the Consortium through the thoughts of its presidents, summarizes to WineNews from the “Chianti Classico Collection”(February 15-16, at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence).
One of the most important wine territories in the world, Chianti Classico, “whose Consortium for 100 years, teaches Made in Italy how to create value”, said the chairman of the Agriculture Commission at the Chamber of Deputies, Mirko Carloni, with 6,800 hectares under vine out of 70. 000 in total, where 486 producers, 345 of whom make up the entire supply chain, produce an average of 35-38 million bottles a year, which go to 160 countries around the world, the U.S., Italy and Canada in the lead, for a district economic value that, with wine as the pivot, can be estimated at around 1 billion euros. And that consolidates the good results of the work of recent years. In fact, analysis of medium-term Chianti Classico data says that sales of Black Rooster wines in recent years (2020-2023) were in fact 4% higher than production in the same period. For 2023, in the face of a contraction in bottled product (-11%), linked to various causes, including forecasts on the reduction of production, general price growth and the phenomenon of overstocking in some of the key markets of the Black Rooster, the year closes with some notable results: in particular, the excellent exploit of the domestic market and the further growth in value and notoriety of the Gran Selezione.
In general, the Consortium explains, the value attributed to wines of the Black Rooster appellation is growing: the average price of Chianti Classico (average of the three types) increased by 7% compared to 2022 and 13% compared to 2021. For the bottled product, the strong presence - in volumes sold and in value - of the “premium” types of Chianti Classico, Riserva and Gran Selezione is confirmed. In 2023, the two types jointly accounted for 42% of production and 54% of sales. In particular, we highlight the further growth in fame of Chianti Classico Gran Selezione.
10 years after its introduction, the market confirms the great interest in this very high quality type (which requires, among other things, the use of the best grapes from only vineyards owned by the wineries, and a minimum percentage of Sangiovese of 90%). This is also thanks to the entry into force of the new production regulations (from July 1, 2023) that allow the use of the 11 Additional Geographical Units on the label (San Casciano, Montefioralle, Panzano, San Donato in Poggio, Castellina, Vagliagli, Greve, Lamole, Radda, Gaiole and Castelnuovo Berardenga). Looking at markets, the domestic market, the second largest market for Chianti Classico, has grown the most, absorbing 22% of the product sold. And, just in Italy, there is also a strong increase in sales related to the Gran Selezione type (+14% over 2021). The U.S., which had recorded a real boom in Black Rooster sales in 2022, is once again confirmed in first place: in fact, 35% of Chianti Classico bottles find their way to this market. In 2024 the Consortium plans to carry out various marketing and communication activities in the United States of America, and in particular at the end of April it will organize a top-level event in New York City. This is followed by Canada stable in third place (10%), a market that has given us great satisfaction in recent years and for which the Consortium still sees great potential for growth. Even in this market in 2023 there is a real exploit in sales of Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, with an almost +50% in volume and +60% in value, over the previous year. The performance of the United Kingdom is also good, coming in fourth place (7%): a country where the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium will continue to invest in 2024 with various events and promotional activities. Then, again among the established markets, we recall Germany at 6%, a market that is and will be given special attention in the consortium strategy together with Sweden and France (target countries in the three-year Meet project). We would like to dedicate a special note to the Swedish market, which, thanks in part to the investments made in the last two years, marks +8% in sales in volume and +12% in turnover over the previous year. Again, complicit in the increase was the Grand Selection type, which doubles the volumes sold on 2022. It is followed by Benelux (3%), Switzerland (2%), Japan (2%) and South Korea (2%). From the Black Rooster sales survey carried out by the Consortium, Chianti Classico boasts a truly special commercial penetration; while the concentration of sales in its historical markets remains pronounced (two-thirds of production is sold in the first three markets), Black Rooster wines also reach unusual destinations, outside the normal trade routes and on all continents: they are distributed in more than 160 countries worldwide. “We are very satisfied with the affirmation of Chianti Classico in international markets”, adds Giovanni Manetti, “and, in this particular year, with the exploit of the Italian market and the resilience of all other historical markets for Black Rooster wines. For years the Consortium has been investing in the strengthening of its historical markets, also with some innovative activities that will allow us to have an increasingly constant and widespread presence in the various countries of reference”. “This year the leitmotif of every marketing and communication activity will be the Centenary of our Consortium, the oldest in Italy”, recalled the director, Carlotta Gori.
“In 1924 there were 33 winemakers, visionaries, we can say today 100 years later”, Manetti adds, “who had a common project and decided to create the Consortium. A century later, the members of the Consortium have grown to 500, but the goals that unite us are the same as they were then. To protect the wine that comes from a highly vocated territory of rare beauty and to accompany winemakers in facing markets around the world under the common banner of the Black Rooster. Whose wines, as Veronelli said in 1966, must tell more and more about the soul of the territory, which as Aubert de Villaine, for many years co-owner of Domaine de La Romanée Conti, explained in his own way, is that magical interweaving of soil, microclimate and natural characteristics and of people who transform the good and beautiful what nature gives them”. As do the farmers of Chianti Classico, stressed the vice president of the Region and councillor for Agriculture, Stefania Saccardi, who, picking up the thread traced by Tuscany Region President Eugenio Giani, who recalled how “tourists from all over the world come to admire the Uffizi, but then they want to eat a nice Florentine steak and drink a good bottle of Chianti Classico”. He said”: “much of the beauty of our territory is also due to the sense of beauty that animates our farmers, and for this we must thank them”.

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