Producers in Italy's esteemed Borolo region are claiming victory after a tribunal ruling went in favour of a return to the original size of the Cannubi vineyard area.
Barolo is a red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. Made from the Nebbiolo grape, it is frequently described as one of Italy's greatest wines.
However, original proposals to expand the area to 34 hectares from 15 hectares threatened to dilute the highly respected name. This is why 11 out of 19 Cannubi producers looked to overturn the plans, and have succeeded - at least for now - in their quest, after a tribunal in Rome annulled the decision to expand.
Following a 2010 ruling, a Barolo DOCG wine formerly labelled as Cannubi Boschis, Cannubi San Lorenzo, Cannubi Muscatel or Cannubi Valletta could, from the 2010 vintage, be relabelled as purely 'Cannubi'. Now the new ruling means that grapes from these four subzones must no longer be allowed to produce straight Cannubi, which has been hailed as a victory for the region and fine wine consumers.
David Berry Green, the Piedmont-based buyer for Berry Bros & Rudd said: "Justice has been served." He told Decanter.com that the ruling is victory against those seeking to "hoodwink" consumers.
"As a buyer, I'm not going to stand for it," he said. "I'm looking to ensure that when consumers pay a premium price for a top single vineyard wine such as Barolo Cannubi, Vigna Rionda or Monprivato, they are receiving the genuine article, 100 per cent transparent."
Marchesi di Barolo were one of the main producers in favour of the expansion, but they declined to comment on the tribunal's decision. However, sources close to the producers say that the dispute is far from being over, and high court is a distinct possibility.
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