Italian winemakers consider new varieties

on 01/09/11 at 8:57 am

Wine

Italian winemakers will vote next week over whether to introduce new grape varieties to their region.

Producers in Rosso di Montalcino will gather on Wednesday 7 September to vote on whether or not allow the introduction of varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah to the traditionally Sangiovese-based wine.

Rosso di Montalcino is supposed to be 100% Sangiovese, but in the case of a “yes” vote, a small proportion of these other varieties – up to 15% – will be allowed to be added.

Wine writer Nicolas Belfrage MW has appealed to the producers, in an open letter, to vote “no”, explaining that such a move would “fatally undermine the personality of the wine.”

He continued: “I would urge you in the strongest terms not to support this change. Rosso di Montalcino, like Brunello di Montalcino, has created for itself a strong personality on international wine markets based largely on the fact that it is a pure varietal wine.

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