The exams to qualify as a “Chianti wine expert” have started. The Consortium Chairman, Mr Busi, comments: “A very important project to consolidate the presence of our member estates”.

Exams have started for the 240 Chinese experts who enrolled in the first Chianti Academy in China, the course to qualify as a Chianti D.O.C.G. wine expert, dedicated to wine professionals and organised by Consorzio Vino Chianti, with the support of Interwine in Guangzhou, leader of the Chinese trade show market and the Consortium’s partner for promotional activities in China for several years now. The Chianti Academy has been set up in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing and its success has been extraordinary.

“We have immediately had a great response – says the chairman of Consorzio Vino Chianti, Giovanni Busi – “China is still one of the most attractive foreign markets for Italian wine, interested not only in wine consumption and tasting, but also in our culture and traditions. The Academy is an important project to consolidate the presence of the products of our wineries in a country that has enormous potential”.  Figures released by Nomisma revealed a 3.3% growth in exports of Italian wine compared to last year. Exports of bottled Italian D.O.P. red wines performed less well, with a variation of just 1%, while, in the same category, Tuscan D.O.P. red wines saw an increase of 11.3%.

Over the course of these three months, the students of the Academy have had the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of Chianti wine, in particular by comparing vintage and reserve wines. They have learned about the history and culture of Tuscan wine, analysed the production chain of the appellation, the policies in defence of the product, as well as the production regulations, and have taken part in an intensive tasting of the different labels of the Consortium member estates. In addition, they have analysed wine pairings with food, also with Chinese dishes, and discussed current issues, such as consummation by a young target, product communication and marketing. Starting from tomorrow, in Shanghai and then in Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the participants will attend one last lesson and taste different labels of Chianti Vin Santo and a series of Chianti D.O.C.G. wines from specific vintages, which are not for sale, but which give a clear idea of the ageing potential of wine. The exams will be held on the following day and will consist of a technical set of close-ended and open-ended questions and a blind tasting which will challenge their ability to recognise the various peculiarities of Chianti wine. At the end of the exams, the participants will obtain an official certificate as a “Chianti wine expert”.