Montalcino has just wound up its celebrations of the Madonna del Soccorso, the town’s patron, 301 years from when her image was crowned on 8 May 1718 by Pope Clement XI. The event is extremely popular among the inhabitants of Montalcino, even the very young, and so it is not surprising that it unites all the local representatives, from the municipal authorities to the various town Quarters, the Brunello Consortium and its cultural offshoot, the Territorial Foundation, as well as schools and various voluntary associations.
One of the events in the packed programme of celebrations took place on 12 May at the Astrusi Theatre: the prize-giving ceremony of “Montalcino, Torneo d’Ottobre”, the photography competition set up five years ago aimed at contributing to promote the Sagra del Tordo (Thrush Festival), a time-honoured gourmet festival which, on the last Sunday of October, evokes ancient medieval customs in the Brunello wine growing area. The panel of judges, chaired by acclaimed photojournalist Francesco Cito and comprising sommelier Gabriele Gorelli (the Italian sommelier who is closest to becoming a Master of Wine), has selected the winners in each of the three categories: black&white-colour, Smartphone and retrospective (photographs relating to the last four editions of the Sagra del Tordo). As in the past editions, the prestigious prizes were offered by the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino wine, which has donated 48 bottles of Brunello and 12 bottles of Rosso di Montalcino.