Designed for those who want to get to know the Nobile di Montepulciano, this tour gives you an in-depth exploration of one of Italy’s oldest and most venerated wines. This DOCG red wine comes from an area to the southeast of Siena and can truly stand on its own against the equally famous Brunello di Montalcino that comes from a nearby region.
Explore to your heart’s content the surrounding vineyards and cellars of two of our favorite Montepulciano wineries. You will get to know the proprietors while they lead you through the painstaking process of making this unique red wine. Not only will you come out of this trip with an improved understanding of the wine itself, but you will also gain a better insight into Italian culture as a whole. The wineries will provide you plenty of opportunities to enjoy their Nobile di Montepulciano wines and we will stop in a small family business winery to have a lunch with fresh and local ingredients such as pecorino cheese.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of the classic Italian red wines. It comes from the vineyards that surround Montepulciano, a charming hill of 25 miles (40 km) south-east of Siena.
According to the DOCG rules, to be labeled as Nobile Wine of Montepulciano, a wine must come from vineyards on the hills surrounding Montepulciano. This area consists of slopes that reach an altitude of 250-600 meters.
The grape variety grown here is Sangiovese (locally known as Prugnolo Gentile). The Nobile di Montepulciano must have at least 80% of Sangiovese and can be blanded with Canaiolo (10-20%) and other local varieties allowed in the province of Siena, including the rare and violet Mammolo.
The aging period for any Montepulciano Nobile wine is minimum 24 months (36 months for reserve wines), of which at least 12 months must be spent in oak barrels. Oak barrels are used here not so much for their flavor as for the slow and controlled maturation they provide.
Montepulciano's Noble Wine is usually of ruby-red color and takes on a thin garnet color over time. It is characterized by its fragrant flavors of strawberry and cherry, and a "leaf tea" delicately tannic finish. It is also known for its medium body, strong tannins and acidity that makes it a particularly worthwhile wine. Some have described this wine as having the scent of Chianti Classico with the richness of Brunello di Montalcino.
Matteo was an excellent and insightful tour guide through the wines of Montepulciano. Add in a historic walk through the center of town and it was a tour I highly recommend.