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Posted: Sunday, 16 February 2020 09:15

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PrimAnteprima 2020: New Consortium Vino Toscana for IGT Wines

Feb 16: Tuscan wine region is divided into several appellations, most well- known being Chianti, Chianti Classico, Montalcino, Montepulciano and San Gimignano etc. but a significant portion of wines as IGT/IGP Toscana was brought under the preview of an independent Consorzio Vino Toscana to represent and defend the 26% wines produced as IGT wines in Tuscany, writes Subhash Arora who met Cesare Cecchi, President and Stefano Campatelli, Director of the Consorzio at the PrimAnteprima event held at Fortezza di Bassi yesterday, on 15 February, 2020

Consorzio Vino Toscana examined the state of the art of Toscana IGT wine during PrimAnteprima, releasing the survey commissioned from Wine Monitor-Nomisma for compilation of the most significant data on the “Toscana” Typical Geographical Indication (IGT)

The Wine Monitor survey reveals some significant and even surprising data on Toscana IGT wines, including the remarkable growth of IGT wine exports, which increased by 126% over the past ten years. The survey showed that among global destinations, the USA accounted for 33% of total exports and Europe managed 46% share, with 6% going to Asia. The survey also shows that 65% of the producers feel that they expected a significant increase in sale of Toscana IGT wines. Of course they also indicated their concern about the possibility of import duties in the USA, the risks related with Brexit and the economic slowdowns in Germany and China.

Cesare Cecchi, first president of Consorzio Vino Toscana feels pleased with the progress made by the Consorzio so far. ‘Consorzio Vino Toscana is now organising for better governance of the production of Toscana IGT wines, and to define its own objectives for its management, protection and development,’ he informed delWine.

The Consortium

Consorzio Vino Toscana is perhaps the youngest appellation, formed under the government decree of 8th July 2018. It was launched in Florence on 10 June 2019. Besides Cesare Cecchi, owner of the Cecchi group of wineries (the group also exports to India through Fratelli Vineyards). The 11 member-board includes senior officials from Antinori, Frescobaldi, Ruffino, and Banfi as also those from several co-operative wineries. For full List click HERE.

Toscana IGT wine represents the second largest typology of wine production in terms of average annual production in Tuscany. Chianti DOCG has the highest production whereas Chianti Classico, at the third spot is almost a third of IGT Toscana wines. The characteristics of its production regulations have given rise to the development of wines of great quality and global importance, associated with a territory recognised for its great charm.

“Toscana” is a brand of great value in the international markets and is therefore seen as highly appealing. The lack of a protection body had left the Toscana brand without defence, since the producers alone could not counter the numerous attempts around the world to use the name fraudulently.
Production of Toscana IGT wine

The total area assigned to making Toscana IGT wines is around 12,500 hA. 1400 Producer bottlers made an average over past 4years of 90 million bottles (7.5 million cases-almost twice the production of the whole of Indian wine industry). In fact, 98 million bottles were produced in 2019, says Campatelli. Tuscany is known for its reds; so it is not surprising that 77% of the wines bottles as IGT Toscana are reds. Whites (18%) and Rose (5%) constituted the balance. Estimated production value in 2019 at €495,000,000 (€ 0.5 billion) indicates that the average value per bottle was at €5.05 per bottle.

This does not tell you much as IGT wines include Super-Tuscans that do not meet the strict regulations of DOC/DOP or DOCG wines as perceived by many producers who do not like to work under the constricted standards and desire to bank upon their experience and ingenuity to offer a unique and high quality product. Campatelli says that IGT Toscana wines have a wide quality and price range. ‘You have a wine selling for perhaps €1 whereas the next could be selling for € 1000.

Sassicaia is a perfect example. It broke all norms of doc/docg except that it used only Tuscany grown grapes (one of the main requirement for IGT wines). Thus Super- Tuscan wine was the term coined by Americans for wines of superior quality that did not confirm to DOCG laws.

Though San Guide Estate, producer of Sassicaia received its own appellation Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC in 1994 (the only wine estate in Italy to get its own doc), Masseto IGT from the Frescobaldi family, selling for over €850 (source wine-searcher.com) is still an IGT wine. Tignanello and Solaia from Marchesi Antinori  and Ornillaia are also IGT wines. Several Estates in the Chianti Classico producing area still make IGT wines as their top-end wines.   Flaccianello della Pieve (price around €100 from Fontodi is a 100% Sangiovese and is a Tuscan IGT wine. Luce della Vita from Fresobaldi is made in their estate in Montlacino but is still an IGT wine, so is Lucente.

Activities of Consorzio Vino Toscana

Consorzio Vino Toscana deals with the management, protection and development of Toscana IGT wine. It is the reference point for coordinating and managing the Toscana Typical Geographical Indication (IGT- Indicazione Georgrafica Tipica), which accounts for about 26% of the average annual regional production.

It also protects and safeguards the “Toscana” name in relation to wine production. The “Toscana” name is internationally known and holds great value in terms of perception and image, making it necessary to avoid possible non-compliant uses and to protect the use of the name in compliance with the law. Stefano informs delWine that the appellation is under registration in India for Trade Mark/GI for Toscana IGP/IGT wines to ensure no copycats can take an illegal advantage.

The Consortium conducts surveys and research for detailed knowledge of the production and share with producers the findings so they may identify production paths and marketing policies and improve the value of Toscana IGT wine. For further details, visit: http://www.consorziovinotoscana.it/

Subhash Arora
In Florence

Board of Directors


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