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Recommended wineries to visit in or near Montepulciano?

  • j

Looking for good wine, asking and available food.

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  1. I don't know if sophisticated people avoid it, but the Contucci Cantine right smack dab at the piazza Grande pours great wines to taste and has a highly atmospheric wine cellar to stroll around.

    http://www.contucci.it/azienda.en.php

    1 Reply
    1. re: summerUWS2008

      That sounds good. I will visit on my trip in May. Thank you!

    2. We went to Contucci in September and had a very nice time. There were a decent amount of people there but not overcrowded. Festive and fun. A few of their wines were quite nice, too, and we picked up a few bottles to bring home. I'd recommend it.

      I don't know if you've heard this from others, but we found tasting in Montalcino/Montelpuciano a bit on the difficult side, unless your plan is to have a set agenda and reserve a tasting or two in advance in which case, I think it will be fairly easy to find information online. We found that tasting in/around these 2 towns wasn't like tasting in the US or NZ/Australia - where most wineries are open to the public and display signage (e.g., open 10-5) or have detailed "wine touring" brochures/maps which makes it easy to take your time and drive around the countryside, not being tied to a particular agenda. We drove ourselves around both Montalcino and Montelpuciano and only happened to find a place in Montalcino that was open for tasting by pure happenstance - Casanova de Neri - FABULOUS. Otherwise, a lot of places it seemed required a reservation or were not generally open to the public.

      In Montelpuciano, other than Contucci, it seemed like signing up a tour would be the way to go. I recall a place in the town itself where people could go to sign up. Another option, as one American couple pointed out to us (we'd met them @ Casanova di Neri) - hire a driver. After getting lost - a LOT - looking for wineries, if I had to do it all over again, I'd probably hire the driver.

      2 Replies
      1. re: spicygal

        Spicygal is correct, many wineries in Italy do not welcome "drop-in" visitors like the wineries do in California. In many cases, you have to make a reservation in advance or, at least, call a few hours before visiting. However, it is not uncommon to find winery tasting rooms that welcome visitors right in the center of many of the villages of wine-producing areas of Italy. In some cases they are operated by a single winery, in other cases they are a communal effort and offer samples of wines from a number of wineries in the area.

        I have a 10-year old copy of "The Italian Wine Guide," produced by the Touring Club of Italy. In Montepulciano, they recommend the Dei winery (Via di Martiena 35) and Redi (Via di Collazzi 5) as worth visiting, as much for the buildings that house the wineries as for the wines themselves.

        The Banfi winery, near Montalcino, is owned by Americans and is more likely to welcome visitors on a drop-in basis.

        1. re: DavidT

          Here is a link to the tasting room operated by the consortium of Montepulciano wineries. You can find other useful information on this website.

          http://www.vinonobiledimontepulciano....

      2. I think Fattoria Ristorante Pulcino has tastings at their big country restaurant. Its touristic but I remember the food and wine as tasty.

        5 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          I just read that post ( I know I'm a bit late for a reply..); but I'm from Montepulciano , I'm a sommelier, and I think to know quite well Vino Nobile . Fattoria Ristorante Pulcino is exactly what you have to avoid if you are a wine lover.
          Undrinkable wine, low quality food, I've never known ANY local going there for lunch/dinner .

          1. re: bobost73

            thank you for the new info bobost73 and welcome to Chowhound.

            do you have any suggestions on tasting opportunities in the Montepulciano area?
            It would be great to know of some additional options.

            Do you think Contucci, mentioned above, is a good choice?

            1. re: jen kalb

              We went to Avignonesi winery (about 30 minutes outside of the Montepulciano city center) a few weeks ago and had a wonderful tour and tasting. We greatly enjoyed their wines, especially the vino nobile and the vin santo (which seems to be highly regarded internationally).

            2. re: bobost73

              Hello! I'm looking to spend a day in the area on Monday and would like to set up a few tastings today. Could you recommend 3-4 places to call? We are from Los Angeles- love the wine of the region and are less concerned with price of tasting or bottle. Many thanks in advance for your time!

              1. re: bobost73

                As a local and a sommelier- do you have any favorites?

            3. Link to current NY Times article on visiting Montepulciano and the Val d'Orcia area.

              http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/...

              3 Replies
              1. re: DavidT

                I'm going to quit doing this after this post but I do want to note for people reading that Times article that if people desire a non-touristy experience of the val d'Orcia, going in winter isn't going change the fact that the most oft-mentioned destinations in the val d'Orcia are now thoroughly developed for mass tourism. If you would like a non-tourist, not just not-crowded, experience of Tuscan farm life, stay in an agriturismo away from the towns you have heard of or mentioned in that article, in an agriturismi that cooks dinner for you and serves you home-produced wines, and that is NOT run by an American. One can still be in the area of the val d'Orcia and le Crete to do this, and one can even go in high season and have a non-tourist experience. But if you simply go off-season and behave like a tourist, restaurant hopping to one much-buzzed about restaurant to another, one tourist town destination to another, you will still have the tourist take on "Tuscany", however enjoyable it is to eat all those overly meaty meals with overly rich desserts and drink mass produced wines.

                1. re: summerUWS2008

                  ditto
                  there are a lot of under-the-tourist- radar agriturismos
                  look on italian language websites (some have english versions but not always complete and use the google toolbar if you need to.
                  heres one of many: http://en.agriturismo.it/tuscany/inde...

                  nothing that the New York Times writes about is (or will in the future) be off the beaten track, any more than anything that Rick Steves writes about ever is thereafter

                  1. re: summerUWS2008

                    I don't understand the point of your post. Who said anything about val d'Orcia being non-touristy? The article mentions lack of crowds...I don't interpret that as the same as non-touristy.