July 7, 2009

‘Magic’ powder is no Chianti, farmers say

A magic powder sold by a German company that allegedly turns water into Chianti wine is a dubious trick, angry Italian farmers say.

The Web site for the German company, Trek'n Eat, promises that its magic powder, when mixed with water, allows mountain hikers to enjoy a glass of Chianti at the summit of their climbs, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

But that's nonsense, says the Tuscany branch of farmers' association Coldiretti, reportedly asserting that the drink is a terrible copy of real Chianti wine, which, it says, is made from grapes and not packets of powder from which hodgepodges are made.

ANSA said the farmers' group has denounced the Trek'n Eat powder as just the latest trick at the expense of one of Italy's most prestigious products. This risks fooling less expert consumers on the real contents of the product on sale and damages the image of Italian and European production.

Italian rules demand that in order to obtain the designation Chianti, the wine must be at least 80 percent comprised of Sangiovese red grape and smell of violets, the news agency reported.