Now we are seriously in the heart of wine country! Montepulciano is reknown for 2 wines in this region: Rosso di Montepulciano and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. These are some of the very best wines in the world. Sitting high on a hilltop with steep narrow streets it is like many of the other towns in the region with a main piazza. Did you know this town is built on a narrow limestone ridge about 600 meters above sea level! The streets are lined with Renaissance-style palazzos and churches.
The medieval town hall Palazzo Comunale was built between the end of the 1300’s and the middle of the 1400’s. The original front design of the building in travertine resembles the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence which is not surprising since 500 years ago this town allied itself with Florence. The cornel on the left side of the main entrance bears a ‘griffin’ the symbol of the town of Montepulciano. Contucci Palace on the right.
On the top of the tower which you can climb that raises about 50 meters above the Renaissance Piazza grande provides amazing views of the countryside from Val D’Orcia to Val di Chiana. To the west is Pienza and Montalcino. The tower was a keen lookout position although it was never meant to hide soldiers.
The people’s spirit here is very independent and they show that with colorful rituals in the Piazza.
The Montepulciano area is famous for producing Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, a fine wine that is among the oldest in Italy and is from the Sangiovese vines. In 1980 it became the first Italian wine to display the neck-strip of the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.). http://www.consorziovinonobile.it/main.php
The town is built on a honeycomb of wine cellars with gigantic barrels. It takes about 3 years and the tanins must be just right. They have been making wine here for 700 years.
Red meat is king at local osterias like Bistecca Fiorentina: T-bone seared over embers and always served rare! You can’t help but love this area of Italy. The people are friendly, the wine is outstanding and the food is divine!
Do you love La Dolce Vita? I have many blogs on various areas all over Italy. You can search by area. Enjoy and share! If you missed the last one on San Gimignano here is a link.