Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.

From a region about 45 minutes east of Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is Brunello’s younger sibling, softer, more playful, with a mischievous spring in its step.

Montelpulciano wine tour
Palazzo Vecchio

Montepulciano wine tour: Wineries and restaurants How to get there Fly into Florence or Pisa airport. Drive from Florence to …Continue reading »

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From a region about 45 minutes east of Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is Brunello’s younger sibling, softer, more playful, with a mischievous spring in its step.

Montelpulciano wine tour
Palazzo Vecchio

Montepulciano wine tour: Wineries and restaurants How to get there Fly into Florence or Pisa airport. Drive from Florence to …Continue reading »

The post Montepulciano wine tour: Wineries and restaurants appeared first on Decanter.

From a region about 45 minutes east of Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is Brunello’s younger sibling, softer, more playful, with a mischievous spring in its step.

Montelpulciano wine tour
Palazzo Vecchio

Montepulciano wine tour: Wineries and restaurants

How to get there

Fly into Florence or Pisa airport. Drive from Florence to Montepulciano in about two hours; Pisa to Montepulciano takes about half an hour longer. The nearest city is Siena, which is an hour’s drive.


See also: Montalcino wine tour


Montepulciano wine tour: Wineries to visit

Avignonesi

The way to Avignonesi is along an avenue of cypress trees leading to Le Capezzine, the heart of the 200-hectare estate comprising vineyards across Montepulciano and Cortona.

Montepulciano wine tour

Avignonesi. Credit: avignonesi.it

A beautiful brick facade beckons you into the Cellar Door, a stylishly modern yet respectfully rustic loft conversion where you can taste wines by the glass – try the Grandi Annate, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2012, all wild roses and plums, and silky soft in the mouth.

Take the wine lover’s tour to explore the organic vines, maturation cellars and Avignonesi’s famous Vinsantaia – where its vin santos are aged in 50-litre caratelli oak casks – before sitting down to a four-course, wine-paired meal.

Do not even consider leaving without having meditated over the legendary vin santo, a hymn to the heavens.

January – Febraury: closed, March – April: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, May: Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12pm–6pm, June – September: Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 12pm–6pm, October: Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12pm–6pm, November – December: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm.

Poliziano

Half an hour away on the other side of Montepulciano is an historic winery named after the town’s most illustrious Renaissance poet. Poliziano has been producing sleek Vino Nobile since 1961, a trait matched in the design-led Angelo Ambrogini tasting lounge, which has a marble bar, parquet floors and wavy wood wine shelving. Never a winery to sit back, this spring Poliziano opened a stylish enoteca in the old centre of Montepulciano, in the palazzo where the great poet once lived.

Montepulciano wine tour

Poliziano

But the Montepulciano Stazione cellar tour still remains a firm favourite.

Open year-round, it’s a chance to see the ecological maturation cellar, whose temperature is controlled by solar power, as well as the old bottle archive showcasing Poliziano’s most prestigious vintages and wines – the likes of Sangiovese selezione Asinone and IGT Le Stanze, a classy Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend.

Winery tours arranged by appointment. 

La Dogana enoteca/ Palazzo Vecchio

A along the Via Lauretana Nord brings you to La Dogana enoteca, the wine bar of cantina Palazzo Vecchio (pictured top). It’s a striking building, whose central window frames the Val di Chiana plain as far as the eye can see.

The Sbernadori family serves up zero-mile valley specialities such as pici all’aglione, fat spaghetti scented with the mildest of garlic. Watch the sunset at Valiano with delicious nibbles and Palazzo Vecchio’s own Vino Nobile.

Contact for winery visits. 


When to go

The crowds flock to Montepulciano town on the last Sunday in August for the annual Bravìo delle Botti, a gruelling spectacle in which muscular men attempt to push heavy wine barrels up the cobblestone streets.

Those in the know often prefer to head for the more placid Festa di San Lorenzo in nearby Valiano in early to mid-August for flower displays and food.

But the picturesque Montepulciano area, dotted with its 75-plus wineries, is a joy to visit at any time, from spring to autumn.

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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.