Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun

We had a wonderful experience exploring Tuscany this summer with the primary goal of enjoying  fantastic wine...namely Brunello!  This was the view from the small hotel we stayed at in Montalcino, Italy.  As far as the eye can see we saw rolling hills, olive trees and vineyards.                                                                                     Our main mission was to visit a small vineyard called  Tenuto Silvio Nardi in the Montalcino region of Tuscany.  We arrived after some  maneuvering around steep and twisty Italian  roads and a few stops to ask for directions in our hastily practiced Italian!  Emanuele Nardi greeted us and  gave us an in-depth tour of the property while sharing how Brunello is made. 
 Brunello,  created from the Sangiovese Grosso grape is one of the most sought after wines in the world.  Located in the southern tip of Tuscany, the Montalcino region covers about 60,000 acres, but due to the exceptionally difficult and hilly area only about 5,000 of these acres can sustain vineyards-- which may be why Brunello is produced in such limited quantities. By law Brunello must be fermented in the Montalcino region and cannot be released before a total aging period of 4 years (and a minimum of 2 years must be in wood).  Riservas are actually aged 5 years. 

Mason and Emanuele at Tenuto Silvia Nardi Vineyard

We were treated to a tasting of three delicious wines including the Manachiara, the Brunello and the Rosso.   The Manachiara earns its DOCG status as coming from the very small region of approximately 10 miles around the town of Montalcino.  Only 10,000 bottles are produced in the finest of years. The Rosso is made from the  same Sangiovese Grosso grape but it is only aged for 1 year.  This wine is sometimes called "Baby Brunello" and is a moderately priced version of the prized Brunello. 
  There are many producers in the area and perhaps the most famous is Biondi-Santi which is really the birthplace of Brunello.  But there are many others and we really enjoyed several different producers while we were there.  

As we departed we stopped for a quick walk through thousands of sunflowers before heading on  to our next vineyard for more Brunello tasting!

  We hope you'll join us for dinner at the inn and enjoy one of the beautiful Tuscan wines on our award winning wine list.


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