Chianti returns to the U.S. in great style, with two seminars in Chicago and San Francisco, on 23 and 25 October, at “Simply Italian Great Wines US”. Consorzio Vino Chianti, in its ninetieth anniversary, will be centring the two analyses on the role of defence of the association which works behind the scenes to protect the brand against falsification and non-conformity, also guaranteeing its origin.

The city of Chicago is going to be hosting a tasting of seven 2013 Chianti Riserva, each specifically originating from one of the seven Chianti D.O.C.G. subzones.  A comparative tasting which aims to enhance the oenological wealth of a broadly diversified area with complex and varied expressions.

In the city of San Francisco, the attention will be focused on the absolute quality of the prince of Chianti, Sangiovese. A special tasting of nine Chianti Riserva (from 2014 to 2004) will be presented, with the aim of highlighting all the nobility and ageing potential of this grape variety and consequently of Chianti wines.

Presenters at the events will be acknowledged American Wine Educators Tom Hyland and Tim Gaiser respectively, coordinated by Luca A. Alves Franco, acting as “ambassador”. At both appointments there will be two institutional counters, where visitors can learn about and taste over fifty different Chianti proposed by the 27 estates participating in the events.

This trip to the United States takes place at a particularly worrying time for Italian wine exports in which current growth levels are lower than average, contrarily to the situation for French wines.

During the first eight months of 2017, while US wine imports rose 7.5%, Italian wines grew “just” 2.9%, while French wines rocketed to 17.9 % (Nomisma figures).

“Italy has to learn to build a network, presenting its products differently, because it’s obvious that we are paying for individualism and risk losing our competitiveness – comments Giovanni Busi, chairman of Consorzio Vino Chianti – the figures recorded in 2017 relating to exports to the US require us to reflect at national level, involving the Ministry and all the organisations that represent the sector. We cannot let ourselves continue losing ground in relation to our direct competitors, who are currently taking advantage of our inability to work together and present ourselves united on markets capable of meeting our needs and acknowledging the value of our product.”

“Lastly – concludes Busi – at national level we are paying for the severe delays in the CMO Vino, the financing and contributions made available to winegrowers and issued through tenders by the Ministry for Agricultural Policies. This is an essential tool for the whole sector, but the ongoing delays are preventing us from promptly assessing the possibility of pursuing a certain type of promotional activity, particularly to the detriment of small and medium Italian enterprises. It’s hard to imagine relaunching our product in the world if the first obstacle is the Italian bureaucratic system, which is often insuperable and so far removed from the realty faced by so many businesses, which are consequently thrust into further difficulties in activating virtuous synergistic processes”.

Congratulations go to the work that has led to the “Bergamo Declaration”, an agreement requested by the world representatives of the Geographic Indications during the G7 of the ministries of agriculture held last weekend. The matters highlighted by the Bergamo Declaration include the strengthening of protection of producers and consumers against falsification (as well as international cooperation, sustainability and web transparency): “A system of controls is essential to allow products with Geographic Indication to constantly increase their value as elements of economic and social development in every single area of the world”, says Busi who, on the eve of the trip to the US,  also expresses, on behalf of Consorzio Vino Chianti, solidarity with California’s winegrowers: “We are close to the farmers in the Sonoma and Napa counties in North California, who are having to cope with the devastation of the dreadful fires that have sent vineyards and cellars up in smoke”.