In the utterly picturesque hilltop town of Montepulciano in Italy’s Tuscany region, a very special red wine is produced. It’s called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and it has D.O.C.G. status, the highest rank of Italian wine.
If you want to visit this tiny Renaissance town, the best way is on foot. There are many tasting rooms lining the streets. And you’ll work off your wine, as it’s an uphill climb to get to them all.
Before you start drinking though, walk deep down into one of the once-tombs-now-cellars to see how the wine is aged for two years in the traditional French and Slavonian oak barrels.
• Only 75 winemakers in the region make this wine
• It is made with 70% sangiovese grapes (not Montepulciano grapes as the name might suggest) plus other local varieties
• Dark plum in color and taste, with hints of leather
• Great with red meat and rich sauces
Getting there: Montepulciano is an easy train ride from Florence and can be reached in under 2 hours. There are buses from Siena and Florence as well and, of course, car rental is easy and quicker.
Looking to taste Vino Nobile stateside? Here are two we love:
AVIGNONESI Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2012 (Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Italy) $31
POLIZIANO "Asinone" Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011 (Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Italy) $60
To learn more about Tuscany and its wine, join us Thursday, July 23, 5-6pm PST/8-9pm EST for #SipWithKaren, a guided tasting on Twitter with Karen MacNeil!
What's your favorite Tuscan wine? Tell us here!