In Montepulciano you can taste Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, not to be confused with the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo produced in Abruzzo.
Vino Nobile is obtained from the combination of three precious grapes: Prugnolo Gentile, (a clone of Sangiovese, the mother of all the grapes of central and southern Italy), Canaiolo and Mammolo, ancient and aromatic native grapes.
The wine is aged from 2 to 3 years in Slovenian oak or oak barrels and one in the bottle.
With the same type of blend you can enjoy Rosso di Montepulciano doc, a wine that is still red and full-bodied, but fresher and lighter, obtained with just one year of ageing in casks and in bottles.
The NOBILE, as we call it familiarly, was the first wine to obtain DOC recognition and later the D.O.C. G recognition. This recognition was strongly supported by the wine producers who, with intelligence and foresight, did not let themselves be charmed by the easy profits of the ever-increasing consumerism of the last century and, on the strength of these recognitions and a very strict regulation they themselves created, they safeguarded the environmental and territorial biodiversity and managed to save the territory from the wild cementification of the 1970s and 1980s.
The vineyards dedicated to Nobile are in fact only found at a certain height above sea level; further upstream or downstream there would not be the ideal conditions for obtaining a quality grape.
It is for this reason that here with us, you will never see only and exclusively vineyards, but also olive trees, fruit trees, wheat and woodland.
The producers have always decided to follow the path of quality rather than quantity, which in time would have led to a monoculture and above all to the indiscriminate use of pesticides to protect the vines from the various diseases that would inevitably arrive when the climate and soil are no longer ideal for growth and development, polluting the air, water and above all the soil.
Right above us, in the Fortezza, there is the headquarters of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is responsible for following the producers at the legislative level and protecting and assisting the various companies, while in Piazza Grande there is the headquarters of the Strada del Vino Nobile where you can get all the information you need for visiting and tasting the various production cellars located outside the historic centre.
In the historic centre you can visit the historic cellars, centuries-old cellars still used today for ageing and bottling wine where you can find barrels and tonneaux (smaller barrels used for certain types of wine).
The historic cellars are still used because they are dug into the tuff and have a special microclimate inside them that allows them to have a stable temperature all year round.
In recent years, some wineries have chosen to allow visitors to visit their cellars by reservation only.
Most of the wineries are small or medium-sized, family-run and still represent a good and important job opportunity for young and old.
A job that must be enjoyed because even the simplest worker in this sector cannot be improvised.
All the workers, from those who work in the vineyard to those in the administrative offices, must have a solid culture of caring for the land and the plants, the barrels and the wine, a job that is learned and experienced day after day, season after season, literally in the field and in the cellar.
A type of work where you have to respect the whims of the weather, know how to wait and respect the seasons, where every year the harvest is the culmination of a year of work, suffering and joy. A job where you have to be in symbiosis with, or rather at the service of, the land.
Family businesses then have an extra charm, it means that each barrel, each bottle, the scent and the particular light of each cellar, different from each other, are part of the family economy, they are part of the family.
One last peculiarity: in Montepulciano, as in Montalcino, there are many wineries owned and run by women; tenacious, hard-working, talented women who, for decades, have been facing the difficulties and seizing the opportunities of an increasingly fast-paced, global market in an impeccable manner, always doing their utmost to ensure that the quality of the wine always comes first,
because quality does not only mean satisfaction and perfection, but also the care and love of an entire territory and the future to be given to those who will come after.
Right next to us, less than a minute's walk away, there are two historic wineries to visit and get to know, the first is the Cantina Crociani, run by Susanna Crociani, the other is the Cantina Gattavecchi, run by Luca, Daniela and Jonata Gattavecchi, as well as all the others scattered throughout the village.