In North America we are accustomed to see one or more grape varieties on the wine bottle label. But this is not the case everywhere in the world. Take in case, the Tuscany region of Italy. I received this press release that noted that the DOC Maremma Toscana is the first to be permitted to use a bi-varietal label on their bottles. Here is the press release. Also take note of the last paragraph that identifies which red and white grapes can be used in the production of their wines.
January 2021 _ The Consorzio Tutela Vini della Maremma Toscana gets European Union green light. Publication in the Official Journal of the EU (No. C 437 dated December 18, 2020) completes the Community approval process for amendments to the Appellation disciplinare [production standards and specifications]. Henceforth, it will be possible to market wines produced with the modifications approved by the Ministry in August across Europe and in non-EU countries. The Consorzio worked extremely closely with the institutions to wrap up this very lengthy procedure which began in 2016 when Consorzio members approved the modifications at the general meeting.
Francesco Mazzei, president of the Consorzio Tutela Vini della Maremma Toscana, emphasized the strategic importance of these changes: “We will be the first PDO wine in Tuscany to use the bivarietal label (wines that blend two grape varietals), very popular in markets like the USA, UK and Northern Europe. This gives us a leg up in adapting to new market demands to increase its commercial outlets, while at the same time strengthening current growth trends and highlighting the production qualitative features”.
This expands the scope of the DOC Maremma, which represents a wine-making Tuscany that is still young but has great potential: “Modification of the ampelographic base and inclusion of the Reserve are definitely going to open up new business prospects for so many companies”, concluded Mazzei.
Consorzio Director Luca Pollini explained: “This marks the conclusion of a complex journey, one in which we are heavily invested. With the modification of the grape blends for the production of red and white wines and the inclusion of the Reserve wording for both types, we are going to raise the quality level and we can introduce wines that better reflect the region and also make us more competitive in EU and non-EU markets”.
In addition to the novelty of the bivarietal label, the most relevant changes to the disciplinare include the following: in the production of red wines, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Ciliegiolo can be used, alone or in a minimum of 60% blend; in the production of white wines, it will also be possible to use Viognier alone or in at least 60% blend with Vermentino and Trebbiano Toscano; the Reserve mention on white wine labels calls for no fewer than 12 months aging; and, for red wines, compulsory aging for two years, at least 6 months of which in wood barrels. The appellation shows good prospects for growth and, contrary to many other Tuscan PDOs, bottled wine also experienced an upward growth trend in 2020.
CONSORZIO TUTELA VINI DELLA MAREMMA TOSCANA
The Consorzio Tutela Vini della Maremma Toscana was established in 2014, after receiving DOC designation, with the aim of promoting the quality of its wines and ensuring that the production regulations set out in the disciplinare are followed, as well as dedicating itself to protecting the brand and supporting its members with regard to the regulations governing the sector.
The Consorzio currently has 282 members, 95 of which are “vertical” estate vintners – who make wine from their own grapes and bottle their own wines – for a total of almost 6 million bottles produced annually. The Consorzio’s activities extend across the entire province of Grosseto, a vast area in the southern part of Tuscany that reaches from the slopes of Mount Amiata to the Maremmana coast and from the Argentario to the Island of Giglio. Among the Tuscan PDOs, DOC Maremma Toscana is 3rd in terms of area under vine, behind only Chianti and Chianti Classico. Pristine territory, sustainability and an extensive product range are the advantages of this still young appellation that promises great growth potential, even in terms of volume. Currently, the focus is on quantitative and qualitative growth of the product.