Wine of Montepulciano
Montepulciano and fine quality wines an indissoluble blend. Exploring Montepulciano vineyards and cantinas.
The Comune of Montepulciano has a population of 15,000, of which a third reside in the main town, and has a surface area of 165 sq. km. It is the largest Comune in the Valdichiana Senese, and is situated on a hill at 605 m above sea level, giving a stupendous view of the valleys and hills around. The delightful landscape is enhanced by olive groves and vineyards as well as natural features such as the chalky hills and cypresses which delineate the vertical contours of the landscape. From the Renaissance Municipal Palace one can see Mounts Sibillini and Cimone, and on an exceptionally clear day, the Gran Sasso d'Abruzzo. From Montepulciano it is easy to reach the Orcia Valley (Pienza, San Quirico, Bagno Vignoni), Mount Amiata, Umbria (Perugia, Assisi, Lake Trasimeno) and Latium.
The History of the Vino Nobile .
The origins of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are ancient and inextricably linked with the history of the town - the fact that wineries are perfectly integrated into the fabric of the historic centre is proof of this.
A rich cache of documents and articles relating to the flourishing history of the town are kept in the Politian Archives and show that as far back as 1350, terms and conditions governing trade and the exportation of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano had already been established. In the second half of of the sixteenth century, Pope Paul III extolled the exceptional qualities of the wine. In his poem "Bacchus in Tuscany", Francesco Redi defined it as the "kingdom of all wines", and in the second half of the eighteenth century the Montepulciano wine was accorded the description of "noble", an obvious sign of the high qualitative standards employed in its production. The reputation of this wine has spread abroad, being mentioned by Voltaire in his celebrated "Candide", while overseas admirers have included US Presidents Martin Van Buren and Thomas Jefferson.
The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine trail
The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Wine Trail Association was set up on the 8 April 1988 with the objective of promoting and safeguarding the image of the Montepulciano area, considering its wine-growing eminence and outstanding cultural and historical heritage. This Trail seeks to promote this rich heritage as well as its natural features and enological and gastronomic traditions.
The culture-vulture traveller can thus explore churches, monuments, villages, spas and tourist facilities of the highest order. The Wine Trail Visitors' Centre is to be found at the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, a building of enormous architectural and historical interest situated in the magnificent setting of Piazza Grande onto which the Town Hall, the Cathedral and other Renaissance buildings face. The Visitors' Centre is easy to reach and very accessible, and is the lynchpin of the Trail providing all relevant information for the enjoyment of the Trail.
There are four "enotouristic" itineraries: (a) Historic Centre; (b) Cervignano; (c) Gracciano; and (d) Valiano. Abundant signposts help the visitor to find the components making up the trail. Most of these are wineries but we also find farm/guesthouses, restaurants, wine cellars and producers of traditional goods.