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The “Montepulciano” controversy on the label: “Cordisco” returns to the Register of Vine Varieties

The Abruzzi Wines Consortium said, "thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture, the initiative supports our request to use Montepulciano only in Abruzzo”
ALESSANDRO NICODEMI, CONSORZIO VINI D’ABRUZZO, CORDISCO, MONTEPULCIANO, WINE, News
Montepulciano vineyards in Abruzzi (photo: Straccini)

The Consorzio di tutela dei Vini d’Abruzzo together with the entire wine supply chain of the Region, prompted a dispute this summer concerning the “Labeling Decree”. The decree, in short, allows names of the vines to be used on the labels of PDO or PGI wines, and therefore also Montepulciano, the cornerstone of the Region’s viticulture, but which is also used in other denominations, such as Rosso Conero in the Marche, for instance. A small regulatory clarification seems to be forthcoming, as “with the decree from the Ministry of Agriculture 597594 dated 26 October 2023, alongside the term Montepulciano, its synonym Cordisco was reintroduced into the National Vine Register. This term had disappeared in the transcription from the paper register to the computerized one at the end of the 1980s, and now can once again be used in the designation of Montepulciano-based wines, just like Calabrese and its synonym, Nero d’Avola. The joint request from the Abruzzo wine world has been listened to, and is working towards the correct designation of Montepulciano-based wines”, a note from the Consortium explained, which “seems to support the claim of the Consorzio to be able to use the term Montepulciano only for wines produced within the Region. Using the synonym, Cordisco, will allow the other Italian Regions to correctly indicate the wines obtained from this grape, according to the legislation currently being adopted”.
“Finally, clarity has been made and we thank the ministry for having accepted our request”, Alessandro Nicodemi, president of the Consortium for the protection of Abruzzo wines, explained, “by applying the synonym, other territories will be able to comply with the new Ministerial Decree on Labeling, and the principle of correct information, avoiding illicit use and usurpation of PDOs on the label or in advertising of wines, which in our opinion only ends up confusing the end consumer”. Emanuele Imprudente, vice president of the Abruzzi Regional Council, responsible for Agriculture, also shared the same opinion, and emphasized, “this decree lays the foundations so that the use of the name Montepulciano will be reserved, without generating confusion, to the wines produced in Abruzzo, clearing away any misunderstandings. Having accepted the proposal to reintroduce the term "Cordisco", which had already been used in the past for wines produced with Montepulciano grapes, a gap in the designation of this type of wine has been filled, and our request has been satisfied. While sharing the regulatory framework of the so-called "Ministerial Decree on Labelling", we have the duty to protect the specificities of our Region in terms of biodiversity and the distinctive characteristics of crops. Therefore, in agreement with the Consortium for the Protection of Abruzzo wines, and speaking on a system perspective, we will undertake to ensure that the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DDIC denomination continues to be an expression of the wines produced within the Region, and characterizes the territory and a well-defined product”.
So, is it game over? That remains to be seen, given that, as the Marche Wine Protection Institute, among others, reiterated in August, “the legislation requires the grape variety on the label, no exceptions are necessary”.

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