I’m moving on with my list of ten meaningful travel memories of this year. The third thing that is written on my list is the noble wine of Montepulciano – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
I spent 1,5 weeks this July travelling all around Tuscany and Liguria. I already presented the famous horse race Palio di Siena but another memorable moment of this holiday was our visit in the vineyard of Antico Colle in Montepulciano by the vast hills of Tuscan countryside.
We were driving around the countryside and headed towards Montepulciano. Montepulciano is a small medieval town in southern Tuscany, located about 190 kilometres north from Rome and known world-wide for its wine production. Our aim was to visit some of the vineyards in the area but the places we had checked beforehand turned out to be only normal wine cellars or shops where you only could buy the wine, not visit to actual vineyard. Feeling a bit frustrated we continued driving around the town and accidentally entered in the road which lead us to the beautiful Sanctuary of San Biagio. This beautiful sanctuary was located at the end of a small road bordered by cypress trees and surrounded by breathtakingly gorgeous panoramas of rolling hills.
While admiring the landscapes and taking some photographs we happened to see a sign of a wine cellar that told us that there were a wine shop just beside the Sanctuary. We entered in the shop and noticed that they were selling the wine from the vineyard of Antico Colle di Montepulciano. We just looked around a while and before leaving the shop I decided to ask from the lady that was working there if their vineyard was located somewhere near the town and if it could be possible to visit it. This signorina was very helpful and kind and took immediately the phone and made a quick call to the vineyard. Her answer was yes, the vineyard of Antico Colle was situated just outside the town and its owners were waiting for us for a visit. J
We jumped in the car and took our way towards the vineyard. When we arrived at the yard in front of a villa/farmhouse, there was an old, smiling and tiny Italian lady waiting for us and welcomed us to sit at a table in front of the house and served us some juice and water. Obviously she didn’t speak any English but since I speak Italian I agreed with her that we would wait a couple of minutes until her husband, Signor Frangiosa,(and the owner of the vineyard) would come and show us the places.
And there he arrived: happy, smiling, a little round, an older gentleman. He wished us welcome and we were ready to see the vineyard and familiarize us with the secrets of their wine production. Since we only had one hour for us before we should leave for a lunch and towards Rome, we agreed with him not to visit the wine fields but only the cellar were the barrels we located and wine was produced. He also spoke only Italian so I decided to work as an interpreter and tried to translate most of his stories also to my friends. The cellar was full of large and medium-sized barrels which contained different kinds of wines in different phases of production. Their production is concentrated in red wine which comes from the property that covers ca. 20 hectares of vineyards. The wines that they produce are:
Vino Nobile Riserva D.O.C.G, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano D.O.C.G., Rosso di Montepulciano D.O.C, Chianti Colli Senesi D.O.C.G, I.G.T Rosso Toscana and also one white wine I.GT Bianco Toscana and grappa and olive oil.
Unfortunately I don’t remember anymore much about the details of their wine production but the best part of our visit was that he organized us a little wine tasting where we could taste all their five red wines. Two of them were the precious and noble D.O.G.C wines and their aging process is between 24 and 36 months. Since I am not any expert in wines I cannot give any exact opinion about their quality but they were good in my mind. I decided to bring a bottle of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, another of the two noble wines, to my father and I learned later from him that the wine was excellent. J
First of all I was amazed and mesmerized by their friendliness and hospitality. He spent a whole hour with us explaining with enthusiasm and passion many details of their wine production and opened five new wine bottles for our wine tasting. And at the end all of us bought a couple of wine bottles to bring back home with a price that for sure was much below the normal retail prices. To top it all, since we were in a hurry, Signora Frangiosa called to a restaurant that was located a couple of hundred meters from the vineyard and asked their personal to prepare some pasta for us when we should arrive.
I have been thinking about this case a couple of times. And here I am, writing a small story and a positive review about their vineyard and wines. We were not business visitors but 4 young ladies, foreign tourists that would not have a big effect on their sales of wine. But still we were served more than well. These are the moments, persons and businesses that I really appreciate. From the marketing point of view they made a great job and gave us a great memory.