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Castello di Ama rejoins Consorzio

Published:  23 July, 2008

Castello di Ama is to rejoin the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico after a gap of over 12 years. The move represents a major coup for the Consorzio in its bid to promote Chianti Classico among world wine drinkers after a low period when it has become associated with straw-covered bottles and trattoria dining.

Ama is one of the top estates in the Chianti Classico region and, like many others, had concentrated on its more successful Super Tuscan brand.

The Consorzio have shown they mean business this time,' said owner and oenologist Marco Pallanti, they will properly monitor all aspects of production and prevent grapes entering from outside the region'.

Piero Conticelli, owner of Cavico, was arrested last week for selling Chianti Classico that purportedly came from vines outside the DOCG denomination. Police have seized a total of 9 million bottles that are believed to be fraudulent.

The new laws enacted in 2004 have also stipulated a reduction in yields, the payment of dues to the Consorzio whether or not wineries are part of the organisation and the merging

of the two former Consorzi in Chianti. Members can put the Black Rooster symbol on their bottles.

However, Pallanti warned that this was the last chance for the Consorzio. They have to get it right now, or it's never'. He added that further development is needed in the region, such as the creation of sub-zones like Castellina, where better quality wines are made. Also planting was needed in smaller hill sites, rather than just in land around each estate. We need

to think less like the Bordelais and more like the Burgundians,' Pallanti added.

A major omission from the Consorzio remains in the

best-known Chianti-based producer Antinori, who has no plans to join.