The guide explains in excellent English the strict process required to make a wine that can bear the name Brunello. She also describes in accessible layman terms the differences between the various styles of wine they produce at the winery. During harvest time workers meticulously hand-sort the precious, mostly Sangiovese grapes. The tour then continues through the rest of the wine making process from fermentation through bottling.
While there is no charge for the tour, tastings are pricey and are not deducted from wine purchases. A tasting of all 6 wines costs 25 Euros with pours generous enough to share. Allow 2 hours for tour and wine tasting.
Even on market day, Friday, Montalcino was strangely empty compared to San Gimignano. Similar type of market focusing on dry goods rather than food. The town, however, has an abundance of wine shops to accommodate those looking to sample and buy the local products.
Restaurants off of via Matteotti, such as the Belvedere Bar, offer magical views of the Tuscan landscape. In early October the bare, desolate fields have their own particular charm.
Continuing on to Montepulciano we stopped for a tasting at Poliziano. Set outside of Montepulciano Stazione the winery is located on a lovely estate. Call for an appointment to tour the facilities, 15 Euros for the tour plus tasting or 5 Euros for just the tasting. With our wine purchase they did not charge us for the tasting. Wines are poured at long wooden tables in a spacious room with large windows that open on the lush estate. Even late in the day way the room was a buzz of activity. Despite the crowd explanations were relaxed and unhurried.
October 6, 2012
For links to all the posts in this series see the Tuscany page.