Montalcino was this year’s choice for the annual WanderCurtis Wine trip.
The biggest decision was not the location, but how to get there!
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!
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:
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.
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.
Dining in Montalcino
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.