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DOC Maremma Toscana first Tuscan PDO to use bivarietal label

Published:  11 January, 2021

The European Union (EU) has given Consorzio Tutela Vini della Maremma Toscana the green light to use a bivarietal (wines that blend two grape varietals) label, marking a first for a Tuscany PDO wine.

The EU approval means that going forward it will be possible to market wines produced with the modifications, approved by the ministry in August last year, across Europe and in non-EU countries

In addition to the bivarietal label approval, the most relevant changes to the disciplinare [production standards and specifications] include the following; in the production of red wines, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Ciliegiolo can be used, alone or in a minimum of 60% blend.

Moreover, in the production of white wines, it will also be possible to use Viognier alone or in at least 60% blend with Vermentino and Trebbiano Toscano; the Reserve mention on white wine labels calls for no fewer than 12 months aging and, for red wines, compulsory aging for two years, at least 6 months of which in wood barrels. 

Emphasising the “strategic importance” of the approval, Francesco Mazzei, president of the Consorzio Tutela Vini della Maremma Toscana, said: “We will be the first PDO wine in Tuscany to use the bivarietal label, very popular in markets like the USA, UK and Northern Europe. 

“This gives us a leg up in adapting to new market demands to increase its commercial outlets, while at the same time strengthening current growth trends and highlighting the production qualitative features”. 

The move “expanded the scope of the DOC Maremma”, which represents a wine-making Tuscany that is ”still young but has great potential”, he added.

“Modification of the ampelographic base and inclusion of the Reserve are definitely going to open up new business prospects for so many companies”, he said. 

Consorzio director, Luca Pollini, added: “This marks the conclusion of a complex journey, one in which we are heavily invested. With the modification of the grape blends for the production of red and white wines and the inclusion of the Reserve wording for both types, we are going to raise the quality level and we can introduce wines that better reflect the region and also make us more competitive in EU and non-EU markets”.

The Consorzio said it had worked “extremely closely” with the institutions to “wrap up this very lengthy procedure”, which began in 2016 when the Consorzio members approved the modifications at the general meeting. 

Established in 2014, after receiving DOC designation, the Consorzio currently has 282 members, 95 of which are "vertical" estate vintners – who make wine from their own grapes and bottle their own wines – for a total of almost 6 million bottles produced annually. 

Among the Tuscan PDOs, DOC Maremma Toscana is third in terms of area under vine, behind only Chianti and Chianti Classico.