Cencioni takes charge of 'Brunellogate' fallout

27 August, 2008
Page 6 
Scandal-hit Italian wine region Brunello di Montalcino has elected a new president as it looks to implement new quality controls.

Montalcino native Patrizio Cencioni will head the new Brunello producers' association. His task will be to help the Tuscan wine enclave to emerge from the shadow of fraud allegations, dubbed "Brunellogate ".

In a speech to association members, Cencioni said: "One of my main objectives is to keep the producers united in order to work together - to support and enhance the fame and reputation this prestigious wine has acquired in Italy and throughout the world over the last few decades."

Italian police were still investigating several Brunello producers for using grapes other than the designated Sangiovese in their wines.

The Brunello board and Italian ministers have spent the last week attempting to re assure a team of US trade officials that steps are being taken. A quarter of Brunello is exported across the Atlantic.

Cencioni, who is fifth-generation producer, as well as a relative of one of the association's founding members, called on winemakers to collaborate with a new quality guarantee board backed by the Italian government.

His predecessor, Francesco Marone Cinzano, admitted there were "a few bad apples" in Brunello. He resigned on Monday, following the

creation of the new guarantee board.