The turning twisting roads of Montepulciano, Italy feel like home to me. It’s the same feeling when I ran through the doors after grade school, or came home for the weekend from University. It is a feeling that all is right with the world.
The difference is today this home is where the wine is.
This Italian hill town in southern Tuscany has charm in and out of the glass. The people are warm and welcoming. They give you a reason to come back.
Like the tasting area at the SAQ and LCBO, they had a self-serve wine tasting contraption filled with regional choices. The owners give you a credit card and you start pouring.The wine of choice here is Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – a lighter version of its big brother, Brunello from neighbouring Montalcino. It is rich, fruity and as with all wines, the quality is all over the map ranging in price from 3 euros a bottle to 50 or more depending on the vintage.
I started with 2007 Salco from Salcheto a producer I visited the last time I came here. Then I went with their recommendations – a 2009 Felsina Chianti Riserva and a 2009 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino. I bought two of them to savour later.
Becoming tipsy, I’ve turned the colour of grapes”
by Toshiiki Bojo
Any notion of wine snobbery goes out the window here. People live and breathe wine, they’re all very knowledgeable and they love to share.
In the main square, which doubled as Volterra for fans of the Twilight series, is a cavern run by the Consortium of Vino Nobile Producers. You can sample any of the regions current releases, and get suggestions if you’re looking to visit a winery for a tasting.
Daina, a sommelier by trade, explained the different soils in the region – in the south the soil has more minerals, the middle – clay and the northern area sandy soil giving each distinct flavours. She talked about how hard it is to be objective when you know the producers and they all work SO hard. And she remarked on the growing number of women at the helm of wineries big and small. All while taking me through a tasting of three wines of my choosing for only six euros.
My wine adventure has begun with the best kinds of lessons that come in a glass.
And this is only day one 🙂
Where will your wine adventure take you?