Guide to Wines and Vineyards of Montalcino

Investing in real estate in Montalcino, southern Tuscany, provides a perfect Italian holiday home where you can enjoy the best wine Italy has to offer and Brunello di Montalcino is arguably the finest Italian wine of all. The medieval walled town of Montalcino is surrounded by vineyards and imagine dining al fresco to such a classic Tuscan landscape. Rome and Pisa are the most convenient airports for Montalcino.

The Brunello vineyards offer numerous opportunities to visitors interested in wine as well as natural beauty. Passing through characteristic villages and thick woods, the traveler will discover well-tended vineyards, perfectly equipped and organized wineries, which are the secret and the pride of each estate from the smallest to the largest.

Montalcino

The local economy is prevalently agricultural and, in that context, the vine occupies only a small share of the total land surface: 50% is covered by wood and uncultivated land; 10% is planted in olive-grove, 8% is cultivated by vines of which more than a half are recorded in the list of the wine Brunello di Montalcino, the remainder is sown in grain, pastures and other cultivation. The hills of Montalcino having been formed in different geological eras, presents extremely variable soil characteristics, whether in costitution or structure.
The strip of the hill of moderate altitude, where the greater part of the winemaking estates are situated, is not affected by fog, ice or late frost as are the surrounding valleys, while the normal, persistent winds ensure the best conditions for the health of the plants.

The fundamentally mild climate and the large number of days of serene weather during the entire vegetative cycle assure the gradual and complete ripening of the grape clusters. 

The most widely used form of training of the vines at Montalcino is the cordone speronato, which involves short pruning (to two buds) of the variable number at the crown of the rootstock. The other form in use for Brunello di Montalcino, involves a single vineshoot, pruned to 6 to 10 buds, which alone is responsible for the vine's vegetation.

The Wines

The Brunello di Montalcino

Visually Brunello Di Montalcino is a limpid and brilliant wine with a lively garnet colour and with an intense, persistent, full and ethereal odour. Because of its characteristics, Brunello di Montalcino can withstand lengthy ageing improving with time.It is difficult to say for how many years the wine will improve in bottle.That depends, in fact, upon the vintage. It ranges from a minimum of 5 years to 30, but it can be kept even longer. Naturally, it should be conserved in an appropriate way, in a cool cellar but, above all, in one where the temperature is constant, where it is dark and where there are no reverberations and odours. The bottles should also be laid down horizontally

The Rosso di Montalcino 

Montalcino, the producers of the area have been conceded, for the first time in Italy, the right to make two Denominazione di Origine Controllata wines from the same variety on the basis of precise technical considerations: there is Brunello, which is destined for lengthy ageing, and Rosso di Montalcino, a younger wine that combines special attributes of vivacity and freshness with a superb structure. Already apprecciated and known under various names, the Rosso di Montalcino has acquired a precise identity and official recognition with the recent approval of the: DENOMINAZIONE DI ORIGINE CONTROLLATA (Presidential Decree of November 25, 1983 and ensuing modifications). A valid alternative for the cellarman, it also meets the requirements of the most demanding consumer. Rosso di Montalcino is harmonic, elegant, sapid, not specially demanding but complementary with many foods. Rosso di Montalcino is brilliant and limpid to the eye, with a composite ruby red colour; to the olfactory senses it offers a fine intensity and fragrance in which can be recognized the scents of small fresh fruits and a light touch of cherry. On analysis by taste, the wine appears dry, with good strength and freshness, along with a notable aromatic persistence. It is a wine that is very drinkable and especially appealing. It should not be kept long, for it is a wine that demands to be drunk young, even if it can undergo considerable ageing.

The Moscadello di Montalcino 

This dessert wine as much ancient as pleasant and surprising, was created from a grape cultivated since time immemorial in Montalcino. Today this wine is greatly appreciated for the characteristics of harmony that the muscatel aroma. Moscadello di Montalcino is soft straw yellow to the eye, tending to become deeper in the natural type and to assume a soft golden yellow aspect. Moscadellos di Montalcino have to be drunk young, whereas the late harvest type can express its best as years go by.

The Sant'Antimo 

The Sant'Antimo denominazione di origine controllata, was created because of the desire of producers to qualify the entire wine production of Montalcino. This denomination makes it possible to classify Montalcino wines other than Brunello, Rosso and Moscadello. Sant'Antimo is a wide denomination which covers both red and white wines.

There is for instance a red Sant'Antimo which can be made of varieties such as Cabernet, Merlot or Pinot Nero, or a white Sant'Antimo which combines varieties of Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio.The red wine can also be produced as Novello. A Sant'Antimo Vin Santo can also be produced from white grapes and the Sant'Antimo Vin Santo Occhio Di Pernice from red grapes, both or which are of Riserva quality.

F.A.Q.

Is it possible to find Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino and Moscadello in demijohns?
No. These wines must be sold in bottles of a capacity not larger than 5 litres; Brunello di Montalcino, because it is DOCG must also be labelled with the state label.

Is it possible to find Sant Antimo in demijohns?
Yes.

What are the maximum yields of grapes per hectare for Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello and Sant’Antimo? 
Brunello di Montalcino 80 quintals per hectare
Rosso di Montalcino 90 quintals per hectare (if it comes from Brunello di Montalcino vineyards the yield can not be more than 80 quintals per hectare) 
Moscadello di Montalcino Still and Sparkling 100 quintals per hectare
Moscadello di Montalcino Late Harvest 50 quintals per hectare
Sant’Antimo Bianco 90 quintals per hectare
Sant’Antimo Vitigni Bianchi 90 quintals per hectare
Sant’Antimo Rosso 90 quintals per hectare
Sant’Antimo Vitigni Rossi 80 quintals per hectare

What is the minimum amount of time that Brunello di Montalcino must age in bottles?
4 months for the normal vintage and 6 months for the Riserva.

What is the minimum amount of time that Brunello di Montalcino must age in wood?
Two years.

What is the minimum amount of time that Rosso di Montalcino must age in wood?
There is no minimum amount of time for the ageing of Rosso di Montalcino in wood.

What is the production area of Sant’Antimo wine?
The Montalcino township territory except for an area east of the village of Torrenieri.

What is the production area of the Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcin and Moscadello wines?
All the territory of the Montalcino township.

When can Brunello di Montalcino be put on the market?
Not before the 1rst of January of the 6th year after the harvest; for example the year 2000 will be sold after the 1rst of January 2005 ( which is the 6th year couting the year of the harvest as well.)

When can Rosso di Montalcino be put on themarket?
Not before the 1rst of September of the year following the harvest; for example the year 2000 can be sold on the 1rst of September 2001. 

With what grapes are Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino made?
They are made exclusively of one single variety of grape: Sangiovese (in Montalcino it is called "Brunello"). 

With what grapes is Moscadello di Montalcino made?
With white muscatel grapes; a 15% addition of white grapes is allowed.

Please also see our Guide to Southern Tuscany

Contact us for an initial call, or send us your requirements, so we can suggest the perfect Italian home for you in Montalcino.

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