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Brunello: Anthocyanin Profiling Effective for Traceability

Posted: Thursday, 30 May 2013 09:51

Brunello: Anthocyanin Profiling Effective for Traceability

May 30: Following up on the controversy raised by the US on the addition of other grape varieties in the Brunello di Montalcino a few years ago, a convention of Italian experts in Montalcino was held last Friday where the latest scientific discoveries on methods to assess the origin of Sangiovese grapes in this prestigious wine were presented and it was declared that the most effective and reliable method to trace the origin was “Anthocyanin Profiling”

The most effective and reliable method to trace the origin of the wine contained in each bottle of Brunello is not DNA testing, but the so-called “anthocyanin profiling”. This is the conclusion drawn from the convention on “Traceability of Sangiovese in Montalcino: Research and Experimentation for Origin Identification” organised by the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino wine, where several Italian experts specialising in Brunello wines were present.

Based on the data presented, anthocyanin profiling, complemented by the stable isotope method for further territorial definition, is the assay that provides winemakers and consumers assurance about varietal integrity. This method has proven to be more trustworthy compared to DNA testing, which presently does not achieve scientifically reproducible results for a reliable and thorough control over the entire production. That approach is not sufficient to establish the purity of a wine. It won’t necessarily tell if a wine is from a single grape variety, as is the case for Brunello but only if a given grape variety, like Sangiovese in the case of Brunello di Montalcino is present, without excluding other varieties.

Speaking at the convention, Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, owner of the oldest and most well-known Franciacorta wineries, Ricci Curbastro making sparkling as well as still wines and who is the Chairman of Federdoc since 1998, said, “Ten full years have not yet passed, it was October 2003, since the beginning of the control plans on the wine production chain, and what we spoke about today in Montalcino seemed futuristic only a few years ago. The oenology world has been capable of tackling the crisis because it is a step ahead of other sectors. Today, in Montalcino, a new model has been identified that can be implemented also by other territories and denominations, a benchmark to be used by people who believe in safeguarding Italian excellence”.

Thanking the researchers who contributed to the fulfilment of the long-standing dream of establishing a scientific method for wine traceability, Chairman of the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino, Fabrizio Bindocci said, ‘we consider this to be an important result, not only for the Italian scene, but also for the international oenological sector. We are proud to have created a precedent and to have contributed, although indirectly, to the development of a reference method”.

Considering the growing importance of wine traceability, this is not a minor development. It helps maintaining Italy’s image on the worldwide oenological scene, reassuring the authorities that monitor quality control, safety and traceability at the international level is an important objective. Offering them a scientific method to achieve this is a strong and efficacious instrument in support of winemakers and the territory, and assurance of reliability and prestige.


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