WanderCurtis Wine

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Magnificent Montalcino , June 2015 . Travel Tips .

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Montalcino was this year’s choice for the annual WanderCurtis Wine trip.

The biggest decision was not the location, but how to get there!

Travel Options:

Tuscany is easily accessible from London – Ryan Air to Pisa. BA or easy jet Florence. Ryan air Perugia. BA and Easy Jet to Rome. We arrived in Pisa Car Hire is easy, but note it is quicker to follow the red line from the airport than wait for the hot crowded rickety bus transfer, it’s only 500m.

We took the route via the coast then through classic Tuscany landscape. Olive groves, cypress trees, rolling hills, neatly manicured rows of Sangiovese, hilltop walled medieval towns, fields of wheat and corn with heady aromas of spring flowers. It is such a treat on all the senses.

Bike Hire -recommended e-biketuscany based in Pienza. Excellent range of very well maintained bikes and somewhat embarrassingly opted for the electric bikes on viewing the ascent to Montalcino!

Wineries visited – The beauty of Brunello

Fuligni

The Fuligni Estate spreads over approximately one hundred hectares of land in an almost continual strip on the eastern side of Montalcino. The vines extend over ten hectares, are primarily located at Cottimelli at altitudes varying from 380 to 450 meters above sea level.  We were given a vineyard tour and explanation of viticulture including: yields, cordon training, bunch restriction & green harvesting. Next stop just down the road to:

Siro Pacenti

Met by Barbara this small property produces 60000 bottles and recently the 2010 received 100 points from Suckling . Vineyards, founded and planted 1970, are in both the north and the hotter southern area of Montalcino. Follow link for full wine review and tasting notes.

Uccelleria 

IMG_3420The most perfect host Agnes led us through a progressive barrel samples. We could sense the evolution from fresh ripe strawberry and cherry fruit onto more savoury, herbal, spicy & complex aromas through barrel age and blending of parcels. A truly memorable experience during which we were lucky enough to meet the owner & winemaker Andrea.

A much larger property. Nicola guided us through their excellent range over a wonderful lunch at Il Leccio showing us just what fantastic food wines Brunello & Rosso di Montalcino are. Beautiful gardens impressive winery buildings. Samples from huge 150 hectolitre Slovenian Barrels. Col d’Orcia welcomes guests to visit the winery and superb lunches featuring organic produce from the estate can be arranged.

The most enchanting garden with intoxicating aromas of orange and lemon blossom and the most beautiful Tilia tree under its shade we were welcomed with Fresh Strawberries and chilled mineral water. Sensationally elegant perfumed wines. Full tasting notes

Pieve Santa Restituta Wonderfully manicured vineyards .  Ethereal winery with classical music and film projected onto the whitewashed walls designed to give employees the perfect ambiance to create Gaja’s masterpieces.

Costanti  Some of the highlight wines of our tastings.  Visits and tastings can be booked on the winery website.

Accommodation in Montalcino
We  chose to stay  at  Hotel Veccia oliviera
hotel-vecchia-olivieraHighly Recommended. This Hotel has stunning views over Val D’Orcia, a small but lovely swimming pool and is an excellent location .The owner is laid back and extremely helpful. Breakfast simple but well presented. Also recommended  a small family run hotel and right in the middle of Town Il giglio

 

Dining in Montalcino

Right in the he heart of Montalcino with an amazing view of the beautiful, medieval Fortress. Excellent wine list and wall to wall bottles of Brunello.
 Il Leccio Sant’Angelo in Colle
You must book in advance , the food in this restaurant is sensational, a must do in the area.IMG_3453
Starters zuccini stuffed with tomatoes riccotta.
Delicious.  Deep fried tempura style, amazingly light & crisp. Egg plant riccotta cheese and tomato. Ravioli in sage butter so delicate.
Mains grilled veal fillet chianina.Sliced Veal Scottata (rare steak) green peas fried onions. So good we returned after our great lunch with Col d’Orcia.
A charming restaurant in the heart of Montalcino. Extensive wine list, an encyclopaedia of back vintages. A delicious starter of Gnocchi with nettle and Fresh ‘Spring’ Truffle. Homemade ‘Pinci’ pasta with bread crumbs and Olive Oil. Main-Medium rare Bistecca Alla Fiorentina. Sheep cheese ‘Selezione’ from Crete Senesi area – beware these cheeses are dangerous.

La Pieve is a hamlet set among a picturesque landscape just nine kilometres from  Montalcino. Brunello vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. We fell upon this country resort with a guesthouse, restaurant, wine bar and chapel with serendipity on our cycle ride. There is a wonderful outdoor area right next to their own vineyard with wonderful views. I think we were kept away from the main restaurant on account of our lycra and perspiration ! Wonderful fresh local food , traditional ‘Pinci’ Pasta and cured local meats.

Other Recommendations

For creative and exclusive wine tasting and Events or if you are planning to get married , we highly recommend Claudia Moritz base in Montalcino info@claudiamoritz.com.Italy is a joy in every way . Fresh delicious sublime food. Exceptional wines. Views and scenery which stay with you forever. Wonderful warm hearted and friendly locals. This area of Tuscany exemplifies it all.Please contact us for any more information .

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