True symbol of the town, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano it is one of the most prestigious and awarded red wines in Italy and represents, with tourism, the most important economic activity of the area. In 1980, it was the first Italian wine to obtain the top quality DOCG label (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). Today, 4 million of bottles are produced by 65 wineries. Made with at least 70% of Sangiovese grapes, the Nobile is submitted to a period of ageing of minimum 2 years (3 years for the Riserva). Its taste is dry, pungent, full bodied and tannic, perfect with grilled beef, game or aged cheeses.
The vinsanto is made only with dried white grapes while the vinsanto Occhio di Pernice contains at least 50% of dried Sangiovese red grapes. Ageing happens in small wood barrels for a minimum of 3 to 8 years, depending on the type of vinsanto. With its sweet, perfumed and velvety taste, the vinsanto is ideal as a dessert wine and is usually served together with the traditional cantucci, a typical Tuscan biscuit with almonds.
You will find several wine cellars in town (many others are in the countryside), all worth visiting not only for the high quality of the wines but also for their historical and architectural value. All of them will welcome you to taste their wines. Thankfully, you will have left your car at Al Poggiolo...
Tuscan cuisine is made of uncomplicated recipes based on genuine ingredients accompanied by some of the best extra-virgin olive oils in the world. Among the many delicacies that the restaurants will propose, try the tasty cold cuts and the pecorino, an aromatic sheep cheeses, together with the local non salty bread. Taste the very traditional thick pici, a handmade pasta, perfect when the sauce remains sticked to it. Savour the bistecca alla fiorentina, a t-bone steak cooked over the coals, made with the local juicy Chianina beef, the world biggest bovine, that was already bred here at the time of the Etruscans.
And leave some space for the dessert: cantucci with vinsanto, a slice of castagnaccio, made with chestnut flour and pine nuts, or one of the gastronomic symbols of Siena: the compact but soft panforte, made of honey, sugar, dried and candied fruit and lots of spices; the rough-shaped cavallucci, once offered at coaching inns and posts, rich in honey, candied fruit and walnuts, and spiced with anise and cinnamon; the tender ricciarelli cookies, made with almonds, sugar, egg whites, vanilla and orange rind.