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  Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Roero  
Consorzio di tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Roero

The Consortium’s role and activities

• Protection and registration of collective trademarks

• Surveillance of wine markets

• Management of Denominations

• Collection of pricing data and market statistics

• Promotional activities for the Denominations

• Chemical and physical laboratory analysis (at Enocontrol)

• Certification of Denominations *

* Third party endorsement through Valoritalia

Market Surveillance and Protection of Trademarks

The Consortium actively controls wine products available on the market via periodic sampling, including full analysis of products to ascertain that they comply with their sales description and with the Disciplinary regulations for their appellation. When cases of adulteration, fraud or unfair competition occur, they are dealt with by the Central Inspectorate for Quality and Fraud Detection (part of the Ministry of Agriculture), together with the Provincial Anti-Adulteration Services (coordinated by the Region of Piedmont), the Anti-Adulteration Section of the Carabinieri Armed Forces (so-called ‘NAS’) and the Forestry Commission. In fact, over the last few years, there have been numerous cases where illegal copy-cat wines or fraudulent wines assuming a prestigious name, have appeared on the market. This has led to the Consortium tightening controls, including at international level, by creating a legally water-tight system of protection for Italian wine appellations.

The up-shot of this procedure has been the registration of Barolo and Barbaresco as trademarks in many countries of the world. Trademark status endows a product with an immediately recognisable identity and is also a guarantee of quality for consumers, in that a trademark ensures origin, quality and ingredients of a product. The Consortium, as agent for wine trademarks, is also guarantor for the origin and quality of all wines in possession of a trademark that fall under its jurisdiction and collectively represents all its member producers who utilise these trademarks.

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Management of the Denominations

The Consortium’s most important task in this area is to match legal aspects of the profession to wine producers’ practical requirements: for example by requesting laws or modifications to the Disciplinary regulations in order to protect a wine’s authenticity and origins.

The Consortium also works in co operation with universities and other scientific institutions in the area of research into grape cultivation and the science of wine making. An important aspect of this work is the study and classification of individual vine strains to better understand the ideal conditions for their cultivation.

Direct contact with producers and growers is maintained through work to assess changes in vineyard yield, the calculation of a particular vintage’s quality and the evaluation of damage by meteorological events, such as hail storms. This kind of task is carried out in co operation with the Region of Piedmont which, on the basis of our information, can issue any necessary legislation. During each autumn’s grape harvest, and operating together with other professional bodies such as the ‘Vignaioli Piemontesi’ (Piedmontese Vignerons Association), the ripening of grapes is assessed in order to aid producers in choosing time of harvest. The data is then added to an archive of harvest dates as an aid for future generations of producers. Another area of great importance is that relating to the definition and delimitation of ‘crus’, which can be considered fractions of a Denomination, and which are subsequently annotated in the Disciplinary regulations. In a world where competition is ever increasing, it is of vital importance to be able to precisely define a wine’s origins, thereby giving the consumer exact information on that wine’s qualities as related to the effect that a particular micro-climate and soil-type can have on the characteristics of its grapes.

The Consortium’s team of wine technicians works in close co operation with local Municipalities, the Province of Cuneo’s central offices and Regional ‘Enoteca’ Wine Shops to arrive at a mutually acceptable and precise definition of areas of production within each wine’s home territory. This process – the first of its kind in Italy -has already been defined for the Barbaresco area, followed by Barolo and Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba (where work on the ‘Sorì’ zones, commenced in the 1980s, has recently restarted) and guarantees that inappropriate use of specific geographical names is avoided.

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Collection of Pricing Data and Market Statistics

Collection of data on prices and the wine market is performed by the Certification Office as represented by Valoritalia, (third party endorsement). Valoritalia periodically publishes these data for the information of wineries and both the general and specialist press.

Prices of unbottled wine are assessed by a special office of the Chamber of Commerce together with the Institute of statistics (‘Ismea’).

The Consortium records prices of finished products and works in co operation with the ‘Tavolo Vitivinicolo’ association to mediate pricing between grape buyers and sellers and solve any disputes.

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Information on Wine Denominations

The Consortium regularly supplies information to the press at all levels, from local to national and international. Over the years, it has published a wealth of material, including promotional and institutional literature, which has been made available to press agencies, opinion leaders and the general public.

Working together with wine professionals, experts and researchers, the Consortium organises courses for producers and other professional figures in the wine world, to keep them fully up-dated and offer an opportunity for debate and problemsolving. Themes include methods of wine ageing, sealing systems and the new and complex technical problems introduced by the Wine OCM. In addition, the Consortium involves its member wineries in commercial fairs at a national and international level. Other associations involved in these activities include ‘Centro Estero per l’Internazionalizzazione del Piemonte’ (Centre for the Internationalisation of Piedmont or ‘CEIP’) for the international events, and the ‘Unione Produttori Vini Albesi’ (Wine Producers of Alba Union) for Alba Wine Exhibition, the most important of the area’s promotional festivals, held every year in May.

Recent Italian legislation regarding Denominations has entrusted the regional Consortia with greater responsibility in the area of promotion – and, as far as our region is concerned, this looks to be our most interesting task in the years to come. Given the large number and variety of denominations covered by our Consortium, it will be necessary to endow each Denomination Committee with greater powers, including a certain amount of financial independence, for example in the choice of funding.

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‘Enocontrol’ is a laboratory for chemical, physical and sensorial analysis of wine. It also provides technical assistance to producers during wine making processes, and assistance for the selfoperated HACCP system of hygiene control during food production.

The Enocontrol Centre for Agricultural and Alimentary Research and Analysis contributes to the activities of the Consortium and the Piedmontese Vignerons Association (‘Vignaioli Piemontesi’), among other organisations. Its role is to analyse grapes, must and wine when required by producers in a constant quest for quality.

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Certification of Denominations

The various Denominations are subjected to a system of Ministerial controls represented by numbered neck seals which are printed by the Official Government Press and which guarantee traceability of the product. The associations involved in the process include: the Province of Cuneo, which authorises planting of vineyards and subsequent membership of the official area Wine Estate List of the Region of Piedmont, and the Certification Office, at present represented by Valoritalia, a firm working in co operation with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Craftsmen and Agriculture to organise Tasting Commissions.

These processes are, in turn, supervised by the ICQ Institute, a quality control centre which also deals with any cases of fraud. The producers themselves have to meet the costs of certification of their wines and the process must be performed by an appropriate organisation which is confirmed as fulfilling Government requirements every three years. This process conforms to European Community requirements and allows producers to apply a confirmation of European ‘DOP’ ( Protected Denomination of Origin) status to their bottles – which, in Italy, will continue to be expressed using the equivalent ‘Doc’ and ‘Docg’ acronyms. Other types of official certification exist at an individual winery level, including that relating to organic farming methods used in the vineyard and the ISO certificate of quality for the winery itself.

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Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Dogliani
VAT n.: 02410110049 | Company information
Tax Code and Number of Business Register of Cuneo: 90021400040 - REA CN 213442
Corso Enotria, 2/c - Ampelion - 12051 Alba (Cn) Italy - Phone: +39 0173 441074 - Fax: +39 0173 361380

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