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Montalcino Italy – Montalcino Tuscany Destination Guide

December 24, 2010

Montalcino Italy is a small Tuscan hilltop town,  population 5,000 perched  on a mountain with commanding views of Val di Orcia and Siena. The roads leading to Montalcino zig zag through the surrounding grape vineyards and olive orchards with hairpin curves as they rise up 1800 feet to the village that produces one of the most famous Italian wines, Brunello di Montalcino.

Looking up towards Montalcino

Photos provided courtesy of Vacations-abroad.com

 Montalcino’s history is similar to other Tuscan towns whose history dates back to the Etruscan era.  The first mention of the town is found in documents dating back to 814 AD and then during the 12th century the growth of the town is tied  to the monastery Abbey of Sant’Antimo. Due to Montalcino’s proximity with Siena it eventually came under the Sienese control and then in the 1500s it finally fell to Medici family of Florence.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that the famous Brunello wine created by the  Biondi Sante family from the Sangiovese grapes.  Numerous other Tuscan wines use the Sangiovese grapes but it is the unique terrior and altitude associated with Montalcino that create this delicious wine. The Brunello di Montalcino wine has one of the longest aging requirements for Italian wine. By law the requirements  for  ageing  Brunello wine  in barrels is 2 years and 4 months in the bottle before the wine is sold. However, many wineries age the wine for much longer than the required regulations specify.  It has been  with the introduction of  Brunello wine that Montalcino has emerged from an economic decline. Today, there are over 250 wine producers within the Brunello wine consortium.

Brunello di Montalcino Winery - Biondi Sante (Linda Jenkins copyright)

Brunello di Montalcino Winery - Photos provided courtesy of Vacations-abroad.com

Gazing out towards Siena from Montalcino

Views from Montalcino - Photos provided courtesy of Vacations-Abroad.com