When you think of Tuscany, you think of wine. As such, when taking a tour of Tuscany you should stop at a winery that produces Brunello Di Montalinco wine, which is some of Italy’s most famous, and as a result, most expensive type of wines. What sets this wine apart from other Italian wines is the very specific requirements regarding the type of grape used and aging process.
The governing bodies over the Brunello Di Montalcino is the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, and also the Denominazione di Orgine Controllata (D.O.C.) and Denominazione di Orgine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.). The D.O.C. and D.O.C.G. are the Italian wines laws that protect consumers and assure quality. If a bottle of wine has either of these letters on the label, you can be assured of the specific region the wine was produced, and more importantly, that the wine was produced pursuant to specific guidelines. Currently, there are 316 D.O.C.s and 37 D.O.C.G.s in Italy.
The Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino,and the specific D.O.C.G. law, set the standards for this famous wine. To begin, this spectacular wine is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes. But the requirements to be labeled a Brunello Di Montalcino do not stop there. The requirements for a wine to have this special label are as follows:
- Wine must be produced in the municipality of Montalcino;
- A maximum yield of 8 quintals per hectare;
- 60& yield of wine from grapes;
- Minimum two (2) years in an oak barrel and four (4) months (six (6) months for Riserva) in a bottle before release;
- Bottling must take place in the production area;
- Only use Bordeaux style bottles; and
- Available for purchase at least five (5) years after harvest (six (6) years for Riservas.
The typical Brunello Di Montalcino wine has an intense ruby red color, which will turn to garnet with ageing. The flavor of the wine is very dry, balmy, somewhat tannic, hearty and harmonic, and the aroma is intense.
While there are many wineries in Tuscany, you should consider a visit to any of the following wineries:
- Poggio Antico
- Il Poggione
- Abbadia Ardenga
- La Fortuna
- Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona
- Col d’Orcia
- Siro Pacenti
In closing, no tour of Tuscany is complete without a visit to a winery that produces Brunello Di Montalcino wine.