Question: What are your recommended winery visit ideas for my upcoming several day visit to Montalcino?
Answer: Lucky you Dave. The town of Montalcino in the Province of Siena in Tuscany is a wonderful place to visit and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2004. Visited there several times, the first one way back in the late seventies. At that time there were less than 50 producers compared to 240+ now. The leaders then that I really enjoyed visiting were pioneer BIONDI SANTI at Il Greppo, EMILIO CONSTANTI, BARBI, and POGGIO ALLE MURA (now BANFI), Attended each April many VINITALY Fairs in Verona in the eighties after Brunello received their DOCG status in 1980 and met the principals of emerging favs of ALTESINO, COL D’ORCIA, and MASTROJANNI among others. Long time fan of ARGIANO who we use also for our top Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A couple of developing legends are worth seeking out – CASE BASSE property of SOLDERA (Gianfranco died in 2019) in La Tavernelle and CERBAIONA DI DIEGO MOLINARI. Don’t forget some major wine producers elsewhere in Italy who produce excellent Brunello: ANTINORI PIAN DELLE VIGNE, FRESCOBALDI CASTELGIOCONDO, and GAJA PIEVE SANTA RESTITUTA. My best tip would be to seek out the differences in the many different terroirs you will discover on your trip. Altitude is a major factor together with comparing the structured fresher style in the north to the riper fruit from the southern vineyards. Have fun exploring and comparing the marvellous 2015 & 2016 vintages!
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