Update 22 March
- Soldera today sent out a brief press release confirming his 'irrevocable resignation, effective from today's date, to the President of the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino Wine, Mr Fabrizio Bindocci, and the members of the Board of Directors', though no reason was given for this decision.
The press release also reported that Mr Andrea Di Gisi has been sentenced to four years' imprisonment for his destruction of Soldera's wines, reported here, and that from the end of this month they will start delivering their wines again, after several months' suspension 'in order to avoid speculation'.
Franco Soldera, producer of the iconic Case Basse Brunello di Montalcino, has cancelled his membership of the Consorzio of Brunello di Montalcino, the association that officially represents the region's producers. Cronache di Gusto, an online newsletter, broke the news today, saying it would be official by tomorrow, or by Friday at the latest. Cronache di Gusto, a Sicilian-based operation and predominantly reporting on the wines and culinary sector of Sicily, did not disclose how it had obtained this information.
Equally unclear are Soldera's motives for his decision. The producer was in the news recently when six of his vintages, 2007-2012, were destroyed last December, after someone opened the taps of the casks in which the wines were maturing, so that the wine literally disappeared down the drain overnight. After an investigation, the police arrested a man who appeared to be a disgruntled cellar worker employed by Soldera, and the case seemed to be resolved after that. But speculation abounded, even suggesting Mafia involvement, although this was resolutely denied by the Consorzio of Brunello di Montalcino.
The Consorzio not only sent out press releases condemning the act in the sharpest of words but also offered Soldera support in the form of a wine donation by the Consorzio's members to secure future sales. Soldera, who is known for scorning most of the Brunello producers, while indicating that his is the only Brunello that truly matters, thanked the Consorzio, but declined the offer.
President of the Consorzio Fabrizio Bindocci could not confirm the story and says he has not been contacted by Soldera.