“During the grape harvest of 2013,” writes Cathy Huyghe in an article published last week by Forbes magazine, “I was visiting Tenuta Il Poggione in Montalcino, home to some of Italy’s most expensive wines. As I walked the vineyards with winemaker Fabrizio Bindocci, harvesters all around us carved gorgeous, lush, fully ripe bunches of Sangiovese grapes from the vines.”
"And then they dropped them on the ground, like throwing out the trash. And Bindocci didn’t even mind. In Montalcino, it’s perfectly normal to discard an alarming percentage of your total production, a practice called 'dropping fruit' that slices il Poggione’s yield by up to 50%. In fact, it’s expected, even though those grapes would otherwise be crushed and matured into top-quality Brunello, which fetches about $75 per bottle. I asked Bindocci to walk me through the math of Brunello di Montalcino’s business model."