Seeing how Tuscany is famous for its vineyards, how about spending a beautiful day in its green hills, savoring local specialties?
With a mind to taste some good Tuscan wine, I chose to turn to the expertise of a private driver. Pick up was in Piazza Santa Maria Novella at 10:00 AM with lunch at a local restaurant in Monteroni (Il ConteDino) to eat tagliatelle with wild boar sauce, and a beautiful cut of meat, flame cooked before our eyes. Satisfied and full of excitement, we got back in the car for a stroll in Montalcino, a charming town in the Siena area, famed for its Brunello wine.
Montalcino is more than just the birthplace of Brunello. It is also a delightful medieval village bound by majestic city walls and overlooked by a historical castle. The view afforded from the top of the town is magnificent. It’s easy to get lost in the fantastic beauty of the countryside around Siena.
Montalcino’s delightful narrow streets and alleys make it the perfect place to wander through a maze of lovely arts and craft shops, cafés, restaurants, and wine bars. If you are eager to bring home a bottle of superb wine, you are in the right place!
After we were done with our leisurely stroll, we headed for one of the many wineries that make Brunello, opting for Abbadia Ardenga, where we were impressed by the kindness of one of the family’s founding members who greeted us warmly!
The winery is very small — the estate covers 650 hectares — but it’s especially interesting because it is a winery museum. It holds a decent number of artifacts, mostly quite simple, and all original, mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries.
In the early 20th century, major forces of change, like the internal combustion engine, spread in agriculture. Most important of all was electricity. Much of the equipment used up to then started to be replaced, abandoned, or destroyed. The equipment now hanging on the winery museum walls are among those that survived.
After the tour, it was time for the tasting. They explained how the wine fermentation and aging process took place, and then we sat at the table to taste Rosso di Montalcino DOC, DOCG and the Riserva, all accompanied with pecorino cheese, bread, and prosciutto.
At the end we toasted with a bit of Grappa di Brunello Riserva — needless to say, we took care to follow the tradition of looking each other in the eyes. We rubbed the last drops in the glass between our fingers to smell its true essence (as we were told we should between bouts of laughter!)
It was a full, unforgettable day of exploring beautiful Tuscany and its excellent wines.
Here are the details.
Ristorante il ConteDino
Via Cassia Nord, 1444, 53014 Monteroni D’arbia (SI)
Abbadia Ardenga il Poggio
Via Romana, 139, 53024 Torrenieri (SI)