Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Trip to Poggio Antico in Montalcino

While staying at the lovely Palazzo Ravizza in Siena, the front desk person recommended a visit to Poggio Antico to taste some of Montalcino's famous Brunello wine.  We drove south on SR2 through small villages, enjoying the rolling hills and soft scenery of Tuscany for about an hour.  As we approached Montalcino, the scenery became much more amazing, almost jaw dropping, whichever direction we looked.  After spotting the sign for Poggio Antico, we drove down a long, unpaved cypress-lined driveway and arrived at the 500-acre estate which was spectacular!

We joined a very small tour group (six people) in the winery's office and set off to learn how how wine is produced at Poggio Antico.  The grapes at the winery are of the Sangiovese variety, which are called Brunello in Montalcino.

First stop: choosing the grapes, which go through a three-step pruning process during the growing year. During the third step, staff actually inspect every bunch of grapes and decide which ones will receive the last days of sunshine and nutrition.  We admired the grapes along with a few thirsty bees, and we each tasted one or two, which were absolutely delicious!

Next, we went indoors to learn about how the grapes become wine.  Our guide explained the winery's process for producing its wines which include the following wines:

Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G.
Altero - Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G.
Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G. Riserva
Madre, I.G.T Toscana
Lemartine, I.G.T Toscana
Rosso di Montalcino D.O.C.

We were surprised by the very modern technology in the cellar with its 23 cone-shaped stainless steel tankes with removable lids.  We followed our tour guide up a ladder and she explained the fermentation process in depth. 

After leaving the cellar, we then learned about how the wines are stored, corked, bottled and then stored again. 

At the end of the tour, it was time for the tasting! We headed to the La Bottega di Poggio Antico, a small shop on the propery which serves as a sun-filled tasting room.  Each taste was better than the last, and we bought a special bottle which we recently enjoyed on our first wedding anniversay.

There's a restaurant on the property, with some very amazing views, but we wanted to explore Montalcino and headed into town for some lunch.  After reading reviews about the Ristorante di Poggio Antico after, I wished we had stayed for lunch, what an amazing place. Here's the view.

While in Montalcino, I highly recommend a visit to Poggio Antico.  To learn more, click here. To read more about my travels in Tuscany which include Orvieto, Montalcino and Siena, click here.

Thanks for reading!

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