About a week ago we received an email by the Brunello
Consortium, with a press release by the Minister of Agriculture Luca Zaia,
stating that, following a visit he made in Washington, D.C., and a meeting with
a TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) administrator, no
certification was longer required for the exportations of Brunello di
Montalcino into the United States. There was also a press release by the
President of the Brunello Consortium, Mr. Patrizio Cencioni, where appreciation
was expressed to the words of the Minister.
Yesterday we gained knowledge of a press release by the TTB, where the fact
that a certification to export Brunello into the USA is no longer needed is
denied and that TTB “has no plans to lift this requirement”.
At this point we wonder if there was a misunderstanding between the Italian and
American Institutions or where the problem was.
On our side, we as Il Poggione, to avoid any misunderstandings, will continue
to produce the certification required by the US Authorities anytime we will
export our Brunello di Montalcino into the United States.
Here is the chronicle and the three press releases
OCTOBER 21, 2009
MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
ZAIA IN WASHINGTON: YES TO THE IMPORTATIONS OF BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO INTO THE
“I am very satisfied with the result of the meeting. The guarantees we supplied
in order to oppose the counterfeits, have been considered more than enough for
a full recognition of the importation of Italian wine into the USA”.
This is how the Minister of Agriculture Luca Zaia, at the end of the meeting
held yesterday, October 20th, in Washington, with John Manfreda, Administrator
of the Federal Agency Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
“I obtained – Zaia declared – the final green light to the importation of
Brunello di Montalcino into the USA. This event finally comes to an end, and it
ensures to a wine considered an Ambassador of the Made in Italy and a
stronghold of the whole national agro-industrial sector, a presence on the
The visit of Minister Zaia to the USA, that started yesterday and will end on
October 25, aims to develop and promote the “typicities of the Made in Italy”,
by opposing at the same time, the counterfeits that “damage the Italian economy
and agriculture”. During his visit, the Minister will explain the dangers of
the Italian sounding phenomenon to the American consumers.
After his stop in Washington, Mr. Zaia will continue today in New York his
visit to the USA. On October 22 the Minister will meet the General Secretary of
the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, in order to talk about world food safety. The visit will
continue with some meetings with Italian entrepreneurs working in the food
OCTOBER 21, 2009
CONSORZIO DEL VINO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
BRUNELLO: CENCIONI “ZAIA’S WORDS ARE IMPORTANT”
Montalcino, October 21, 2009 – “The US market has a vital importance for the
Brunello di Montalcino. We express our full satisfaction for Minister Zaia’s
words after his visit in Washington.
With these words Patrizio Cencioni, President of the Brunello di Montalcino
Consortium, thanks the Minister of Agriculture Luca Zaia at the end of the
meeting held yesterday, October 20 in Washington with John Manfreda,
Administrator of the Federal Agency Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
“We thank the Minister for the high interest he showed towards our land and our
wine – ends President Cencioni – During this moment of crisis, it is important
to unite with a common purpose on the exportations of the Made in Italy’s
excellences. We also wish that the words of the Minister will contribute to
bring more confidence also to the Italian market.
OCTOBER 27, 2009
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO TAX AND TRADE BUREAU
TTB CONTINUES REQUIREMENT FOR CERTIFICATION OF BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
Washington, D.C. – On October 20, 2009, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade
(TTB) Administrator met with Luca Zaia, Italian Minister of Agriculture and
with Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, Italy’s Ambassador to the United States. The
Government of Italy requested the meeting to discuss the ongoing investigations
into the improper blending of several Italian wines including Brunello di
Montalcino. Minister Zaia reassured TTB that his office has taken full
responsibility for the integrity of all 500 Italian wine denominations and has
ensured that none of the mislabeled products that have been the subject of
numerous press reports for months now are on the market. He stressed that he
has taken TTB concerns about the integrity of certain Italian wines seriously and
consequently mandated a heightened quality control and oversight role for the
Ministry of Agriculture. Minister Zaia also advised that the court case would
be concluding soon and that TTB would be provided with information on the final
disposition of the cases as soon as possible.
Contrary to numerous reports indicating that TTB will no longer require the
Italian government certification for imports of Burnello di Montalcino, TTB, at
the meeting with the Italian government representatives, emphasized the need to
receive the prosecutors report as soon as it is available to assist in
determing the future need for and scope of the certification process. At this
time, TTB continues to enforce the certification requirement and has no plans
to lift this requirement.