Two days before the coronavirus pandemic shut down Italy for two months, shattering wine exports and sales, the owner of one of its most historic vineyards headed back into the country a worried man.
Six months later Francesco Ricasoli and his wine-making team are leading the charge by Italy’s “Black Roosters” — the trademark for Chianti Classico — to put the country’s most famous label back on restaurant tables.
“These are probably some of the most turbulent times in Italy,” said Ricasoli, 64, the 32nd Baron of Brolio whose family’s roots to Tuscany stretches back to 1141.
“We’ve seen a strong decrease in wine sales — particularly in restaurants and bars that specialise in the high end of the market,” he told AFP at his winery with the same family name.
Hard hit by the virus that has killed more than 35,500 people in Italy, wine sales and consumption have