While some may say that the Italian economy as a whole has been doing less than brilliantly over the last few years, one of the bright spots that have emerged from this period has been the continued growth of the Italian wine industry. As more people become aware of the various Italian wines available to them they are also becoming more willing to explore and use the internet to help them find a vintage that will suit their tastes and likely stay with them for years to come.
This explosion in interest and popularity has also led to an increased level of availability of wines that would not have been made available to many outside of Italy before the dawn of the internet age. As connoisseurs search around for the best red wine it is likely that more than a few of them will have stumbled across the vintages created by the Brunello di Montalcino house.
The gorgeous Brunello di Montalcino is something of a hidden gem in the wine world, having only just started to gain some level of recognition outside of its homeland. While most Italians will be more than happy to espouse the virtues of this amazing wine if asked, those abroad are less likely to have even heard of it, never mind tasting it.
It’s a true shame as well because the Brunello di Montalcino truly is one of the finest red wines on the face of the planet.
That period in the international dark ages seems to becoming to something of an end however. The company continues to enjoy plenty of domestic successes, with the quality of their wine meaning that they can often charge a fairly high price per bottle, but now this amazing Tuscan is slowly but surely reaching the eyes and taste buds of an ever-growing international market.
In fact, annual production of the wine, which is known in some circles as the emperor of red wines, has been increasing fast over the last couple of years. This flies in the face of the economic downturn and only goes to show that Italian wine is finally getting the international recognition that the Italians have always known that it deserves.
The way the wine is continuing to increase in popularity it won’t be long before everybody knows just how good it is and the producers will have to ramp things up even more and perhaps even expand outwards from the small slopes of the Tuscan town of Montalcino so that they can increase production and keep up with demand.
History of the wine
Unlike many of the famed Tuscan wines, such as Chianti and the Super Tuscans that exploded into popularity back in the 1970s, the Brunello di Montalcino is made completely from Sangiovese grapes, offering it a much richer and deeper taste than its rivals while perhaps not offering quite as many different notes as a result of the lack of mixing.
This makes the wine amongst the purest that can be found from the Italian winemakers. Perhaps even more interestingly, it is only in recent years that the one has been made available for public consumption. Though it is quite an old wine, the drink was actually made simply for personal consumption when it was first introduced.
In the 1950s a number of local winemakers in the Tuscany region decided that the wine should receive the same level of promotion as the others that had helped the region make such a name for itself. They set up a consortium of sixteen producers of the drink in 1967. In the time since that consortium has grown to include more than 250 producers, echoing the increasing popularity that the wine enjoys. Even its name is steeped in history, as the term “Brunello” was derived from the name that the locals used to use when referring to the Sangiovese grape that is used in its production.
Better yet, despite the fact that the wine has only catapulted to fame in recent years, it is believed that a Brunello was served during the wedding of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, demonstrating just how much its reputation for quality is well deserved.
The BBC has even run a piece on the wine on its news website and they spoke to Francesco Ripaccioli, who along with his brother and sister runs the Canalicchio di Sopra estate that produces many bottles of the wine.
He stated: “My grandfather was one of the Brunello pioneers. They were the first to believe in quality at a time when it was not easy to do so. The problem was having enough food to eat, not making fine wine.”
When speaking of the consortium that eventually formed around the drink he added: “The consortium wasn’t for rich landowners, it was for the farmers. After World War II, the population here went from 10,000 to 2,000 as people left to earn a living in the cities. Brunello was their solution to the challenge of staying.”
So what does the future hold for this amazing drink? If early indications are anything to go by we can only assume that it will continue to gather steam and will become increasingly popular as the years go by.
This should especially be the case in international territories. While certain sections of society will have been more than aware of the drink many years ago, the fact that it is now becoming so readily available thanks to the rise of online shopping means that a wider audience than ever is now able to experience this truly great Italian red wine.
Because of this it is anticipated that the consortium behind the production of the wine will also need to increase. At the moment the 250 or so that make up the group are starting to struggle to keep up with demand so it seems that an increase in production and a higher number of producers are going to be needed to ensure that the wine not only maintains its current international popularity but also managed to build on it.