Do subzones work in Montalcino? Stefano responds to a reader.

There was a lot of response to yesterday’s post “Subzoning doesn’t work in Montalcino. Here’s why” by Fattoria dei Barbi owner and winemaker Stefano Cinelli Colombini.

One reader, Andrea Fassone, a leading east-coast importer of Italian wines in the U.S., responded with this comment:

    Why did they map Barolo and Barbaresco then? you have different geography, soil, altitude,…then you have vines trained in a different way, different style of fertilizing, aging in oak,…..Still we have useful maps of these areas. Mapping highlights some difference, that is what I understand this article talks about in Montalcino as well. Mapping gives guidance to someone that wants to start to approach a territory. Or I didn’t understand the article?

Here’s Stefano’s reply:

    The problem is that to map the wine production areas you must map some things which doesn’t change but also some which change. Soil and geography don’t change, but weather and everything connected with men will change. So you cannot make a reliable map of quality areas, because they rely both on changeable and unchangeable factors. Or, more exactly, you can describe the actual situation but you must be aware that it will change. In Piedmont they did something different, they simply divided the territory in to geographical zones without a connection with quality. My problem is: may it be misinterpreted? Is that probable? I fear that the journalists will create a ranking even between geographical zones, but obviously the quality of these zones will change when the weather changes. And it is changing quickly. But when a zone will be rated “top”, it will be very difficult to change the rating because important economic interests will be involved. So I prefer to avoid to make zones, because they always generate mistakes. I understand that an easy think like a map is ideal for a new wine lover, but reality is not easy. And making it artificially easy you don’t do the right thing.

One thought on “Do subzones work in Montalcino? Stefano responds to a reader.

  1. Pingback: Subzones don’t work in Montalcino. Here’s why (guest op-ed by Stefano Cinelli Colombini) | Do Bianchi

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