Wandering through the Tuscan countryside – something everyone should do at least once in a lifetime! – one stumbles upon hilltop towns that seem frozen in time. Montepulciano is a Medieval jewel, a place where the Medici family of Florence left their mark and who could blame them?
Marvelous vistas inspire noble thoughts. Is it any wonder that the great Renaissance humanist and exquisite poet, Poliziano, came from here? Agnolo Ambrogini took his name from the place of his birth, Mons Politianus. Get a load of Ghirlandaio’s fresco in Santa Trinita in Florence, where Poliziano is portrayed with little Piero, son of Lorenzo il Magnifico!
This gorgeous landscape also inspires noble wine – the famed Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. What, another Sangiovese you say? This is no simple Sangiovese, my friends. Here the grape is called Prugnolo Gentile, a name reflecting its more noble spirit. And the Vino Nobile is the expression of that grape.
Here in Montepulciano, the Consorzio del Vino Nobile is actively promoting this vision. In 2016, they opened the Enoliteca, a spectacular space located in the fortress dominating the hill of Montepulciano. This commemorated the 50th anniversary of the wine becoming a DOC; it was promoted to DOCG status in 1980.
The courtyard is welcoming, and leads to a stunning tasting room, outfitted with a plexiglass floor that allows for admiring the archeological ruins under the fortress. If you suffer vertigo, don’t look down!
Each blond wood table is emblazoned with the Consorzio’s symbol, and the walls are lined with bottles from the producers of Vino Nobile.
Can you spot the sputacchiera?
This is no sleepy village: the center of Montepulciano is bursting with creative energy. The summer festival sponsored by the Cantiere Foundation is in its 42nd year and features concerts, opera, art, dance, performances, and brings soul to the heart of the Val di Chiana (the valley famous for Chianina beef and the bistecca fiorentina!).
Have you already opened another tab to start planning your Montepulciano vacation? Can’t blame you. With summer upon us and the harvest time looming just around the corner, the best is yet to come!