Allegrini 2018

Nobile di Montepulciano wine has been a star player on the markets since the Middle Ages

A rare “Trade contract, dated October 17, 1350” has been found, and it is rewriting history. Meanwhile, the territory is growing on markets worldwide

Seven out of 10 bottles of Nobile di Montepulciano wine are sent to markets all over the world. The estimated production value is 65 million euros, and the total value, including real estate assets, vineyards and related industries in the area, is close to 1 billion euros. But, the wine that the scholar (and the highest ranking doctor at the Court of the Medici, ed.), Francesco Redi, defined as “the king of all wines” in his poem, “Bacchus in Tuscany” written in 1685, was a star player on the wine market as early as the Middle Ages. Evidence has come to us through a rare trading contract, dated October 17, 1350, preserved in the Madonna de' Ricci (cross bearers) collection of the State Archives in Florence. It has been rediscovered thanks to research promoted by the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, led by Andrea Rossi and directed by Paolo Solini. The research led to the discovery of the registration, by a notary public, of a company to market and export wine produced in the vineyards of a member of the noble family of Del Pecora di Montepulciano, through the intervention of the merchant, Jacopo di Vanni di Santa Fiora. The manuscript, written on parchment, is a veritable document rarity in terms of date and content. It is evident, as the historian, Repetti, confirmed in his famous Dictionary (Florence, 1839), that the “exquisite wine of Montepulciano, ... has been sent abroad since very remote times”. The document was written a few years after the drafting of the Statutes of Montepulciano in 1337, which regulated the production, sale, and taxation of the wine production for which the city was already famous in those times. “The discovery has surfaced in the past few months, thanks to the work we are carrying out together with the Società Storica Poliziana to reconstruct the history of wine in Montepulciano”, Andrea Rossi president of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, explained, “and which now we have presented to the whole world, demonstrating the importance of the winemaking tradition in our area, since ancient times”.
This bit of ancient history leads to the present, and to the wine that received the first DOCG in Italy in 1980 (the Consortium safeguards the first DOCG label for Italian wine, the AA series n° 000001). Moreover, two years ago it added the obligatory mention, “Tuscany” on the label, for all of its wines, as narrated during the Preview of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, in the “gem of the Renaissance”, at the tasting of the 2020 vintage (harvest judged 5 stars, the maximum rating) and the Riserva 2019 (from February 18 to 20, the event will be open to enthusiasts and professionals, ed.). The present narrates the excellent state of health of the denomination, and 2022 marked a year of further growth for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano market. As a matter of fact, 7.1 million bottles of Vino Nobile (+6% compared to 2021) and 2.8 million bottles of Rosso di Montepulciano (+7.7% compared to 2021) were put on the market. Exports are the main outlet channel and accounted for 68% (in past years it had reached 78%), while the remaining 32% is marketed in Italy. The growth trend of the past few years continues in direct sales in the company, which in 2022 was more than 30%. Furthermore, 43% of total sales on the domestic market have been registered in Tuscany, while 31.6% was sold in the North and 5.40% in the South. Instead, on foreign markets it is a pie divided in half, between Europe and non-European Union countries. 35% of exports are sent to America (North and South), and 30% to Europe. Asia is growing and has reached 2.5% of the total share. Germany continues to be Nobile's number one market, holding 37% of the export share. The United States is continuing to grow, even compared to 2022, and has reached 27% of exports.
Nobile wine has been successful on the Asian, Balkan, and non-EU markets as well, registering more than 4% of exports. Canada’s growth trend is continuing and alone is worth 5% of exports. The market share of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano’s organic brand has also performed exceptionally well, as in Italy it is worth 42% of sales, while Internationally it represents over 70% of sales.
The wealth linked to wine moves 70% of the local economy on the territory in related activities, comes from 2.000 hectares of vineyards (of which 1.208 registered Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and 324 Rosso di Montepulciano DOC), is cultivated by 250 winegrowers and brought to the shelves and tables by 90 bottlers, generating a total of 2.000 permanent and seasonal jobs.

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