The ‘Vino Nobile di Montepulciano’ takes pride in its position as the natural descendent of centuries of winemaking history. Over time the perception of this wine has changed hand-in-hand with the development of technology in the vineyards and cellar and increasingly well-informed attention from consumers.
A strong tie with its land
Montepulciano’s history has always been closely linked to its famous vines and wine, as demonstrated by the centuries-old cellars in the town’s old centre (the only ones in Italy and the rest of the world). Further confirmation of this historical link is provided by documents from 790 AD which register the donation of a vineyard to the church, and Repetti’s mention of a document in 1350 (in his “Historical and Geographical dictionary of Tuscany”) which drew up the terms for trade and exportation of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Sante Lancerio (1530), cellarman to Pope Paul III, defined Montepulciano’s wine as “vino perfectissimo” while Francesco Redi is famous for writing “Montepulciano d’ogni vino è Re” (“Montepulciano is of all wines the king”) in his “Bacco in Toscana” (1685). In his “Candide” (1759), Voltaire mentioned “maccheroni, Lombardy partridge and Montepulciano wine”. Recent research has shown that the official name of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano dates back to 1787, and was used in a “nota spese” (expenses account) by Giovan Filippo Neri (Governor of the Regio Ritiro di S. Girolamo, a historical Montepulciano institution) for a trip to Siena.
Promotion and improvement of the product
The Consortium of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was founded in 1965 with the aim of protecting and promoting the image of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (and later, Rosso di Montepulciano and Vin Santo) in Italy and the rest of the world. There are currently 254 members of the consortium (of which 74 bottlers) representing almost the totality of the vineyards. The Consortium also carries out the role of managing the appellation, of monitoring the wines on the market, of legal guardianship of the brand in Italy and around the world, of promoting and improving the whole appellation. Every year, moreover, the Consortium’s marketing and communication department organizes a worldwide tour to promote the appellation and its area of origin, together with partner institutions and other consortia of fine wine producers.
An easily accessible computerized system which can be consulted online allows anyone who has purchased a bottle of Vino Nobile Docg, Rosso and Vin Santo Doc to learn about the entire production process through a simple operation. By visiting the website of the Consortium users can consult an easily accessible drop-down menu to discover the production process of any bottle produced in Montepulciano. First select the type of wine (Nobile, Rosso, Vin Santo), then answer the requests for bottle format, serial number and marks shown on the neck-strip. At this point a simple click on the mouse will activate a brief search before the history of this bottle appears with detailed information about the year, place, winery and other notes about the type of wine.
A voyage of discovery
The ‘Strada del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano’ is an association working to promote the municipal area of Montepulciano, highly suited for winegrowing and also rich in important cultural traditions from its centuries of history. An attractive route across the charming Montepulciano countryside, winding through a series of hills where nature and man’s labours have shaped one of Tuscany’s most beautiful landscapes.
The Strada is not only a route marked on a map: it is also a fil rouge offered by the local area and its culture, typical products, and natural and historical attractions. It is an invitation to discover Vino Nobile and its producers in the cellars carved from the tufaceous rocks; an itinerary through local flavours to savour in the most prestigious restaurants and typical trattorie, as well as a relaxing and diverting opportunity to discover the charms of unique works of art and glimpses of an unforgettable landscape.