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Allegrini 2018

SOME OF THE MOST FAMOUS WINE BRANDS IN THE WORLD ARE TUSCAN AND COME FROM WELL-KNOWN TERRITORIES AS WELL AS LESSER-KNOWN, SMALLER ONES SEEKING TO EMERGE. THE DNA OF LOCAL TUSCAN TERRITORIES, DATA AND DISCUSSIONS AT “ANTEPRIME DI TOSCANA”

Some of the most famous brands in the wine world come from the Italian region "Tuscany", a small wine giant which, anchored to the size and prestige of a few denominations, is made up of many other wines as well, more or less big, but equally rich in history and uniqueness that, despite relatively small numbers, are trying to emerge in the world. They may not be fully maximizing the strength of the regional brand, but they are narrating the characteristics of the small, local municipalities to a world, which perhaps one day the wine market will appreciate. The 11 consortiums in Tuscany kicked off the week of “Previews of Tuscany” in Florence (the guest star was Sting).

The wines tasted were from Carmignano, Casole d’Elsa, Colline Lucchesi, Cortona, Elba, Maremma Tuscany, Montecarlo Lucca, Montecucco, Pitigliano and Sovana, Val di Cornia and Valdarno di Sopra, to name just a few. These are the lesser-known territories compared to Chianti, Chianti Classico, Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri, and they represent the other side of Tuscan wine that the Italian institute of services for agri-food markets, Ismea’s numbers reveal is made up of over 22.000 companies, mainly small and small-medium sized, but that have produced some “samples” of considerable size. More than two thirds of these companies are located in areas for PDO production, which cover over 93% of the almost 60.000 hectares of regional vineyards (the national average is 56%).

It is a lively, dynamic and innovation-oriented vineyard, as numbers and recent facts narrate. In the last decade, the vine area in Tuscany has only been marginally reduced (6% less) and recently has started to expand again, but not only. They are convinced that the use of the tools the community policy has made available (the Ocm Restructuring and Reconversion measure) has meant that over 43% of Tuscan vineyards have been renewed and 24% - more than 14.000 hectares - in the last decade alone.

Tuscany is the land of great reds, where Sangiovese is the reference grapevine that covers, including its various local variations, 62% of the entire wine area. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon follow at an enormous distance with 8% and 6%, respectively.
The regional heritage of wine variety classifications is the basis for 58 PDO and PGI awards, but the reference points remain Chianti and Chianti Classico, respectively 44% and 21% per cent of the area, followed at a distance by Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano, at 6% and 4%.

Tuscany is thriving from the wine viewpoint, but it has to deal with what’s currently happening in wine exports. The general standstill in Italian wine exports, which are almost all Tuscan production, between January and October 2017, decreased compared to 2016, in quantity 2.4% less, to 705.595 hectoliters, but held its own in value, 451 million euros (+ 0.7%). The United States (216.095 hectoliters, 9% less, and 153 million euros, 1.6% less) and Germany (132.893 hectoliters, 2.2% less, and 68 million euros, 5% less) are by far the top two markets, followed by Canada (59.718 hectoliters, +9.6%, and 43 million euros + 8%).
In terms of promotion, the Grand Duchy has been one of the most affected regions: the Ismea numbers show production at 1.6 million hectoliters in 2017, which is 38% less compared to 2016.
“This is why we want to stay close to the producers”, the Tuscan Regional Councilor for Agriculture, Marco Remaschi, told WineNews. “We are working to lighten the load at least tax and contribution-wise and are also negotiating with the banks to get a better deal for companies in this complex situation, which will also lead to reviewing the management of measures like emergency irrigation, in the next few years”.

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