Our first full day took us south of Siena to the hallowed vineyards of Montalcino and Montepulciano. Some of Italy’s best known and highest quality wines can be found here with Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano to the fore. Our first stop was the wonderful Poggio San Polo estate. With the most extraordinary views of Monte Amiata and the surrounding vineyards this is an idyllic setting. The estate is owned by the Allegrini family, of Valpolicella fame, and is run with the same meticulous care. We were shown round by winemaker Riccardo Frattone and a glorious walk through their vineyards was followed by a look at their highly innovative cellar. The whole winery is aiming to be as carbon neutral as possible and it was full of innovative solutions to minimise energy expenditure.
We then explored their range: Rubio 2015, Rosso di Montalcino 2014, Brunello di Montalcino 2012 and the ultimate expression of top class Brunello – the 2010 Riserva, which was a wonderful treat.
From Poggio San Polo it was a short hop to the delightful Boccondivino restaurant for a whirl through their tasting menu. The meal was as good as any I can remember on tour. Perfectly presented, outside in glorious weather, delicate sized portions that allowed us to experience a wonderful mix of Tuscan cuisine without feeling too full. We drank a first for me – a Tuscan Pinot Grigio which was a rich, full bodied oily style and some very quaffable Rosso from Montalcino.
Then it was off to Montepulciano and the Salcheto winery.
Salcheto also have a unique winery with no connection to the main power grid. Solar power generates most of their energy and incredible reflective panels draw light down into the cellars. It means they can’t work after sunset but I didn’t hear anyone complaining.
They are fully organic and biodynamic and after tasting a slightly curious Rosato and red, we moved onto some top class Rosso di Montepulciano and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
An excellent first day of Montalcino and Montepulciano!