Val d’Orcia – Montalcino

Montalcino sits on top of a steep hill with acres of olive groves and vineyards surrounding it. It was heavily fortified behind defensive walls and an imposing 14th century fortress topped with tall lookout towers built in 1361 to a pentagonal plan.  It is famous for the production of Brunello di Montalcino.  My favorite!

Fields of Sunflowers cover the breathtaking countryside from Siena to Monte Amiata called the Val d’Orcia.  Sunflowers often appeared in the background of Renaissance art works. This area has flat chalky plains with fortified medieval settlements on top of hills. Everywhere you look there are rows of those iconic cypress trees.

sunflowers
Sunflowers in the Val d’Orcia
Cypress trees
Cypress trees

Chiesa della Madonna del Soccorso is a Roman Catholic church located on the Via Spagni.

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Chiesa della Madonna del Soccorso

As with other Tuscan towns there are a multitude of Catholic churches.

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Chiesa di Sant’Agostino
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Sun setting over Montalcino

Some history on Brunello:

“Tuscany is one of the best wine destinations around the world, with its triangular shape it seems made for cultivating vineyards. In fact, wine is produced in all ten of the region’s provinces. There are more than 70 DOCG wines in Italy, 11 of which are produced in Tuscany. DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita or controlled designation of origin guaranteed) is the highest recognition that can be awarded to a wine.”

Brunello di Montalcino (normal and riserva) is obtained from Sangiovese grapes. Did I say enough it is my favorite wine ever!!!

“The Brunello di Montalcino is a visually clear, brilliant wine with a lively garnet color. It has intense, persistent, wide and ethereal scent. We recognize scents of undergrowth, aromatic wood, small fruits, light vanilla and composite jam. The taste is elegant and harmonious body, nerbo and breed, it is dry with long aromatic persistence. Due to its characteristics, Brunello di Montalcino has long aging, improving over time. Hard to say how many years this wine improves in the bottle. This, in fact, depends on vintage. It ranges from a minimum of 10 years to 30, but can be kept even longer. Of course, it must be kept in the right way: in a fresh cellar, but above all at constant, dark, noisy and no odor; the sealed bottles.”

Matching food with Brunello di Montalcino

The elegance and the harmonious body of the wine make it possible to combine with very structured and composite dishes such as red meats, feather and coat, possibly accompanied by mushrooms and truffles. It also finds optimal match with international meat dishes or sauces.

Brunello is also an excellent wine with cheese: seasoned tomatoes, Tuscan pecorino cheese, structured cheeses. Moreover, because of its characteristics, it is also enjoyable as meditation wine.

The Brunello di Montalcino wine should be served in glass-shaped glasses with a wide, stitched shape, in order to be able to grasp the composite and harmonious bouquet. It should be served at a temperature of about 18 ° C-20 ° C. For very aged bottles it is advisable to decant in crystal carafe, in order to better oxygenate it and propose it in its total purity.”

Characteristics and requirements for Brunello di Montalcino 

The Brunello di Montalcino – Below are the rules laid down in the current Disciplinary Code as provided by Decree 19/5/1998.

– Production area: Montalcino commune – Vineyard
: Sangiovese (named, in Montalcino, “Brunello”)……
– Minimal wood finishing: 2 years in oak
– Minimum bottle aging: 4 months (6 months for Riserva type)
– Color: intense ruby ​​red tending to garnet for aging
– Smell: characteristic and intense aroma
– Taste: dry, warm, slightly tannic , robust and harmonic
– Minimum alcohol content: 12.5% ​​Vol. ……
– Bottling: only in the production area
– Consumption: after 5 years from the vintage (6 years for Riserva type)
– Packaging: Montalcino Brunello can be marketed only if packed in Bordeaux bottles.”

 

Source: http://www.consorziobrunellodimontalcino.it/index.php?p=5&lg=it

Looking for more on Italy? Check out Florence, Venice, Siena, Amalfi Coast

You get the idea there are tons of towns to explore here!

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