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Allegrini 2018

POLICIES IN BRUSSELS ARE SCARING EUROPEAN WINE, BUT OUTSIDE THE EU INDIGENOUS VINES HAVE BEEN USED FOR YEARS, ESPECIALY OVERSEAS, WHERE CHARLES SMITH WINES OF WASHINGTON HAS LAUNCHED SANGIOVESE, PRIMITIVE AND BARBERA, MADE IN USA

New rules on wine from Brussels, which is slowly stripping the wine world of its safety net made of protection and laws, key to guaranteeing survival and commercial viability as well as safeguarding the peculiarities and uniqueness of each territory, have been targeted by wine producers and associations for weeks. In particular concerning the much more than hypothetical possibility of liberalizing the use of indigenous vines throughout Europe.

Needless to say, these policies would hit Italy first, which traditionally has linked the names of its most important wines to their denominations and their vines. It would be a big blow, although outside the EU borders, the recognition of the names of not only wine, but also any other food product, is virtually non-existent (just think of the turnover linked to the phenomenon of Italian sounding). There is really no need to worry, because Sangiovese produced in the US or in Israel (like Sandro Pellegrini from Parma does with his boutique winery "The Promised Land") is unlikely to compete with their Italian counterparts, linked to unique territories, and backed by decades, if not centuries, of history.

The threat coming from the US, however, is getting a bit more serious since the company betting on Italian varieties is not just any company; rather it is Charles Smith Wines (www.charlessmithwines), "Winemaker of the Year" by “Wine Enthusiast” in 2014.
The wine company is in Washington State (at almost 9000 kilometers from Tuscany, to get an idea, ed.), where it produces nine million bottles a year, and is getting ready to bring the 2014 vintage of Sangiovese and Primitivo and the 2012 and the 2014 vintages of Barbera to the market. They are convinced that "the great Italian wines”, as explained Charles Smith, who in the ‘90s was the manager for several rock groups in Northern Europe, “are not found only in Italy. Our wines are from Washington, but from Italian varieties, with which we work in our own way, and I am happy to be able to share the result with my Italian producer friends”. Who knows whether his colleagues on this side of the ocean will be as happy as he is...

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