Montalcino - Quintessence of Tuscan Culture
Montalcino is perched on a hilltop north of Monte Amiata. The space for building was limited, therefore the narrow streets meander uphill and down hill. The town hall at the Piazza del Popolo seems a bit narrow as well. Probably at the time of its construction building ground was already getting scarce ...
The town is dominated by the Fortezza di Montalcino. This fortress secured Montalcino her independence for a long time. It was not until 1559 that Montalcino was the last free and democratically governed city in Tuscany to be subjugated by the Medici. In the courtyard of the Rocca you can have a nice picnic, of course with a good glass of wine ...
On the green vineyards around Montalcino, the famous fine wine Brunello di Montalcino is grown and wine connoisseurs from all over the world make pilgrimages each year in February to the tasting and awarding of the new Brunello. A limited acreage (only about 1600 hectares) and strict production conditions guarantee stable and high prices for the winegrowers. The yield per hectare may not exceed 80 quintals. The Brunello is sold only in the fifth year after the harvest and must be aged for at least 2 years in the barrel and at least 4 months in the bottle.
The Brunello wine is promoted worldwide through clever marketing campaigns with international celebrities as "wine godfathers or godmothers" who can immortalize themselves on the façade of the town hall with an artistically designed ceramic tile.
Consequently, in Montalcino you can find an enoteca on every corner, taste wines and buy a bottle or two of the precious elixir.
If you do not want to spend too much, you can also try a "Rosso di Montalcino", a wine from Sangiovese grapes that is very fresh and fruity.
On the terrace of the "Fiaschetteria Italiana" in the main square of Montalcino, you can spend hours and watch the peaceful goings-on. The interior design of the restaurant from 1888 has been preserved in its original style and has an atmospheric feel of a Parisian cafe of the penultimate turn of the century (Piazza del Popolo 6).
From the "Bar Belvedere" on the other hand, the view glides over the edge of your wine glass to endless hills and vineyards (Via Matteotti 31).
Those wishing to explore the various wineries around Montalcino can best do so under expert guidance in English with Esther Mercedes Jürgens of VinoVistas. She organizes tailor made private wine tours to the best Brunello wineries of Montalcino and organizes tastings at the winery "Il Palazzone".
By the way: on a hot summer's day, a wine cellar is the perfect place to escape the heat ...
A trip to southern Tuscany with a visit to Montalcino and a wine tasting seminar with Esther Mercedes Jürgens of VinoVistas are an integral part of our culinary weeks at La Rogaia. The recognized wine expert will introduce you to the world of sensory wine tasting.
Here are the dates of our culinary weeks 2018:
April 21 to 28, 2018
November 3 to 10, 2018 (only 4 places left)
Also the La Rogaia photography course with René van Bakel will take you to Southern Tuscany. You will visit the wine-growing region of Montalcino. At the wine estate San Polino of Luigi Fabbro and Katarina Nussbaum you will learn how the world-famous "Brunello di Montalcino" is produced. Of course you will taste their splendid wines accompanied by local specialties, served on the terrace. In the soft light of the afternoon sun you will capture the vineyards of "San Polino" with your camera.
Here is the date of the photography workshop 2018:
August 25 to September 1, 2018
All photos on this page by Jutta Z. (unless otherwise stated)