Nightmare in Montalcino: Fabrizio is our only hope!

I just saw a retweet in my Twitter feed and am literally feeling ill after what I just read over at Montalcino Report: Donatella Cinelli Colombini has “stepped aside” and is giving her support to Ezio Rivella in his bid to become president of the Brunello producers association (if you haven’t been following events there, just scroll down on my blog to my most recent posts).

A nightmare is unfolding in Montalcino and Fabrizio Bindocci (left, in a photo I took probably 6 years ago) is our only hope. Fabrizio had not officially announced his candidacy for the presidency but Cinelli’s “abdication” has led him to speak out finally. He did so today in an open letter he wrote to Italy’s top wine blogger Mr. Franco Ziliani. Fabrizio’s son Alessandro has published an English translation at Montalcino Report.

In it, his father writes:

    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!

However distant this election may appear, it is the front line in the battle to save traditionalism and indigenous winemaking in Italy. I know Fabrizio well and as outspoken as he is (in the true Tuscan tradition), he is also a very humble man who would not have taken such a brazen stance if the situation were not grave.

Keeping my fingers crossed (and hoping you are, too)… thanks for reading…

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