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Sommeliers at work at Benvenuto Brunello
Sommeliers at Benvenuto Brunello 2016

Some important changes have taken place during the last few years in regard to Benvenuto Brunello. The Consortium of Brunello wine and its yearly fair are now located in the newly restored Sant Agostino complex (a beautiful former monastery in Montalcino's town center).

But even more importantly, in 2017 access rules to the Brunello preview have been changed. It always used to be a press and trade fair, but producers got tickets they would share generously with friends or clients (see my Benvenuto post here). However, several winemakers told me that this will be no longer the case. From 2017, the rules are more similar to Verona's Vinitaly fair with producers having a minimum amount of tickets that grant free access to Benvenuto Brunello. 

Hence, Brunello lovers no longer need to nice talk a winemaker for a voucher but can book their Benvenuto Brunello ticket directly from the Consortium (prices start at 15€ if you have an invite from the consortium or a producer). It will be interesting whether this new system stops the crowd which used to get mad on Sundays and Mondays (Saturdays has always been reserved for journalists only). Knowing the Italian talent for spotting a loophole I wouldn't bet on it. 

Benvenuto Brunello 2017: Saturday February 18 to Monday February 20. 

The wines of the Sesti estate
Sveva presenting Sesti's Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino at Benvenuto 2016

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