Letter to Mr. Franco Ziliani

My father Fabrizio Bindocci has sent the following letter to Mr. Franco Ziliani (in the photo to the right, next to my father, center) who has published it on his blog Vino al Vino. Herewith the English translation of the letter.

Franco ziliani 

Dear Franco,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your support for my candidacy. I am doubly thankful because, as we both know, your support was by no means solicited!

But I am not writing you, on a day of national holiday, to thank you. For those of us here in Montalcino, today is — above all — a vigil.

As all of us well know, tomorrow, not only will the game for the presidency of the Consortium be played out: that which will happen will have relevance for an entire community.

All of us also know full well that the new president of the Brunello di Montalcino Consortium will not only have to commit his hand and heart (we hope!) to reaffirming, in the eyes of the entire world, the values of the wine and wines that brought fame to the town where I was born: with heart and mind, he will also have to weave the threads of the interests (and history) of all those who were born and raised in Montalcino and of those who arrived in Montalcino on the wave of the fame of the wine and the climate of success that Brunello has awoken in the minds of a great number of people in the last thirty years.

Il Poggione — the winery that I direct and where I grew up —asked me to offer my candidacy for the advisory council. Leopoldo himself offered his trust and I am grateful to him. I have obtained the votes to become a member of the council and now, as I find myself on the eve of the election, as you well know, one of the 15 councillors will be chosen as president (in a secret ballot).

The councillor who received the greatest number of votes was Donatella Cinelli Colombini (115 votes). I have joined Leopoldo Franceschi, who has also given his endorsement, in offering her our support.

I have chosen to do so and have done so essentially on the basis of two factors:

She is the councillor that has obtained the greatest number of votes, more than any other, and in doing so, her candidacy represents the will of a great many of the Consortium members.

She comes from a historic winery and she was born here. Above any other interest, she cannot but wish for the success of Brunello and above all the good of this community.

Donatella Cinelli was among the very first to sign the "manifesto" conceived and written to guarantee a solid and irreprehensible future for our wine. This fact, combined with the two considerations above, supercedes any other possible consideration or divergence between our philosophy and that of Casato Prime Donne (Donatella Cinelli Colombini's winery).

It is, however, with a certain dismay that I have learned — in a meeting that we held yesterday with some of the councillors — that Donatella Cinelli Colombini wishes to give way (and to give the presidency) to the very person, in my opinion (and in accordance with my own sense of propriety), who is the farthest from my land and the wine that we steadfastly wish to continue to produce (perhaps by improving our tradition but certainly not by bastardizing it). He is the farthest from it in his actions, his feelings, and his interests.

I am referring to Cavalier Rivella, whom I have known since his earliest days in Montalcino and whose bluntness I appreciate.

Therefore, I believe that it is my duty, on the eve of this most delicate of appointments, to ask all of my fellow councillors and all of those who hold dear the reputation (and success) of this wine to banish from our behaviour any interest that does not correspond to that of the producer Consortium members.

This — and only this — is what I would wish to do if I were to be President!

It is now time to take a step back from any power game and to keep in mind that what has happened in Montalcino in the last two years has tarnished the reputation of many honest producers, persons who now deserve a leader who will work seriously to restore the just recognition that the toil of many men and my land have allowed them to earn throughout the entire world.

In any case, we wish to offer a concrete contribution to the re-establishment of our Consortium in order that we may avoid a nearly certain but useless internal split within the Consortium itself by using all of the strength, energy, and experience that come to us from our life's work for Brunello.

The vertical tasting of Il Poggione's Brunello (from 1973 to 2004) that you conducted the other day at Villa Braida is — I believe — a formidable example of how we see things (and how we work) here in Montalcino!

Thank you for your time and for your passion for our wine.

Fabrizio Bindocci

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