2012 a very tiring year where a lot of work has been done. Great awards, successes, small commercial progress and great difficulties tied to the International crisis.
The best image of the past year is of the Premio internazionale Vinitaly received directly from the President Mr. Riello and the General Manager of Veronafiere Giovanni Mantovani. Such an important award which I shared with Debra Meiburg the Master of Wine who rates 7th in the list of most powerful women in wine in the world.
A good portrait of the increase in quality of the wines from this cellar is given by the image of 5 wines with ratings over 90/100 in Wine Spectator: Il Drago e le 8 Colombe, Cenerentola, Brunello, Brunello Prime Donne and Riserva, the latter with 95/100 is in the Olympus of the 18 Italian “Top Wines” chosen by Wine Spectator. The Brunello Prime Donne is among those Highly Recommended by “Decanter” and among the three preferred by the Master of Wine Rosemary George.
In other words the grapes from the new vines, at this point in their productive maturity, the change in climate has favoured Casato Prime Donne in
Montalcino and most of all the new style based on the exalting of the peculiar characteristics of Sangiovese and the territory fascinate the consumer and experts especially from the other side of the world.. Our wines have “FINEZZA” (finesse) or rather character, harmony and elegance. They are beginning to distinguish themselves from the rest. Obviously the change in climate doesn’t only have positive effects. At Fattoria del Colle, where the soil is more calcareous or has more drainage the vines suffered a terrible thirst last summer and the harvest was the scarcest ever, but the excellent results in Montalcino have more than repaid us. <<La natura da quello che toglie>> (nature gives what it takes away) says the proverb!
From a commercial point of view I must make some observations. We export to 31 nations. In 2012 we have opened new markets in Russia, Sweden, Norway and Australia and re-opened distribution in Japan. The differences from one year to the next are greater than in the past and this means more investments and more trips abroad. However we notice some continuity: the US is recuperating very well with respect to 2009,Canadais definitely progressing, enormous interest for our wines from the East where our wine are very much liked. Denmark and Mexico are on the decrease and cause the minus sign on the total but we will act straight away.
Direct sales are flying high. Casato Prime Donne is receiving more and more visitors.
A different question for sales in Italy. The total sales are the same as last year. Considering the difficult economic situation in our Nation this is an excellent result also because accompanied by an increase in payments.
The country inn concludes the year with a + 5% in business and a definite increase in appreciation. The exclusive wellness centre, the restyling in many apartments, the parks that have been embellished … all make fattoria del Colle a unique place, one to be associated with authenticity, culture, comfort, care and attention.
The Toscana Loversshop in Siena has well resisted this moment of crisis,
which in Siena is worse than elsewhere, and its balance is better than the previous one. Toscana Lovers has now begun to be a must for tourists.
Finally the cultural and communication activities. The 2012 edition of the Casato Prime Donne award has surpassed all the others in importance and visibility. Now the Prime Donne trail in the Brunello vineyards has become a destination. Together with traditional communication, with a publishing rate of every two days, we have launched a blog and are present on the social networks. Head turning figures: up to 9.000 readers per month, 750 followers on Twitter, more than 2.000 friends on Facebook and a YouTube channel with 14 videos created especially to explain life on the estate.
So in concluding I would like to invite you to come and visit us and discover a small world which changes by rediscovering old traditions and looking towards the future with great hope. There’s lots of work to be done, but in 2013 we will do great things, all of us together!