In the province of Siena, nestled between the Valdichiana and the Val d'Orcia, there is a small hill town with just over 13,000 inhabitants named Montepulciano. Of Etruscan origin, the medieval historical centre is surrounded by walls and is of great value. Here you can admire beautiful views in the postcard that is Tuscany, eat delicious dishes and drink great red wines including the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG. A great appellation, but opposed by many producers who have not been able to valorise it, and for this reason the work carried out by theorganic farm Podere Casanova is important for its rehabilitation in the eyes of Italy and the world.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG: what wine is it?

The cultivation of vines in these areas has very ancient traces documented before Christ, but how did it lead to today's appellation?

The history of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

As early as 1350 AD, the trade and export of Montepulciano wines, which have always been recognised as being of excellent quality, were regulated. In 1500, Sante Lancerio, cellarman to Pope Paul III Farnese, celebrated the wine of Montepulciano, writing: 'very perfect both in the winter and in the summer, fragrant, pulpy, not agrestino, nor full of colour, so that it is a wine for gentlemen'. Rosso Scelto di Montepulciano' was a wine destined above all for the tables of the nobility, given the meticulous care of the vineyard and the cellar practices implemented even then. No wonder, then, that Vino Nobile di Montepulciano increased its fame over the centuries to the point of receiving an order for hundreds of bottles even from the President of the United States in 1803. From 1873, the year it was present at the Universal Exhibition, to 1966, the year the Consorzio was founded, there was a dark period, also due to the two world wars that shook the world. In 1980, Nobile di Montepulciano wine was the first Italian DOCG.

The specifications of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG at a glance

  • Grapesminimum 70% sangiovese. The remaining 30% may be a blend of one or more complementary black grape varieties suitable for cultivation in the Region of Tuscany.
  • Vineyardsin plots located at an altitude of between 250 m and 600 m within the municipality of Montepulciano, with the exception of Valdichiana, with a maximum yield of 80 quintals per hectare.
  • Refinementat least 24 months (36 months in the case of the Riserva) counted from 1 January following the harvest, of which at least 12 months in wood and 6 months in bottle before release.
  • Bottlingin the entire territory of the Tuscan region (within the winemaking area in the case of the Riserva) provided it takes place in a winery that has been bottling the designation for at least three years.
  • Featuresat least 12.50% vol (13% vol for the Reserve).

Those interested in learning more can consult the Wine regulations for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG.

Vintages to invest in

Although on the official website of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano both the 2017 and 2018 are declared exceptional and the 2016 'only' excellent, after tasting several wines of the denomination I confirmed my impressions with Podere Casanova and I would say to invest in both the 2016 and 2018. The 2017 did not excite me, especially in memory of what happened with the terrible frost that massacred much of the Italian vineyard in April. As for the Rosso di Montepulciano, however, I preferred the 2019. Although it is a wine that can express itself even better over the years, it is already very pleasant and balanced.

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Podere Casanova: tastings of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG

Tasting #1: 'Bulles Brut' Classical Method Sparkling Wine

Grapes: 90% chardonnay, 10% ribolla gialla | Maturation on yeasts: 24 months | Sugars: 6 g/l | Disgorgement: 20 July 2023 | Online price: € 23

It is pale straw yellow with greenish highlights and a fairly fine, numerous and persistent perlage. Delicate nose with accentuated notes of citrus fruits, green apple and lime blossom. In the mouth it enters coherent, crisp, savoury, structured and with great acidity. Cleanses the mouth nicely and needs a few more months in the bottle to make the bubbles creamier.

Podere casanova sparkling wine classic method

Tasting #2: 'Caterina rosé' Long Charmat Method sparkling wine

Grapes: 80% sangiovese, 20% chardonnay - grechetto - verdello | Ageing on yeasts: 6 months | Sugars: 6 g/l | Online price: € 23

It is pale onion skin pink with a fine, fairly numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is delicate with notes of white chocolate, ripe peaches and wild strawberries. In the mouth it is consistent, creamy, structured and with a bitter finish that makes you salivate. 

Podere casanova montepulciano sparkling wine roses

Tasting #3: Rosso di Montepulciano DOC 2019 ❤️++

Grapes: sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, merlot | Ageing on yeasts: 3 months in wood + 12 months in bottle | Online price: € 14

It is transparent ruby red, consistent. Elegant nose with notes of black pepper, cherries in spirit. In the mouth it enters very elegant, structured, very fresh, tannic and with a long finish. Excellent drinkability. This particular wine bears witness to the extraordinary growth in quality that Podere Casanova has enjoyed in recent years.

Podere casanova rosso di montepulciano doc

Tasting #4: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2018 ❤️❤️

Grapes: 97% sangiovese | Maturation on yeasts: 18 months in French barriques, tonneaux and 1000 litre barrels + 12 months in bottle | Online price: € 26

It has a concentrated, consistent ruby red colour. On the nose it is intense and very elegant with notes of undergrowth, trinity chocolate, grass and Jamaica pepper. In the mouth it is consistent, soft, tannic, structured and very long. This particular wine bears witness to a much better vintage than the previous one.

Podere casanova vino nobile di montepulciano docg

Tasting #5: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Riserva 2017

Grapes: 97% sangiovese | Maturation on yeasts: 30 months in French barriques, tonneaux and 1000 litre barrels + 12 months in bottle | Online price: € 42

It is ruby-garnet red with orange reflections. Delicate and not particularly complex nose with just a hint of undergrowth, leather and spices. In the mouth it is very acidic and very tannic with great structure. The alcohol is very noticeable and needs a few more years in the bottle to express itself as it deserves. This wine has made me incredibly eager to taste the 2018 reserve when it is ready....

Podere Casanova Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva

Tasting #6: "Settecento" Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2016 ❤️❤️❤️+

Grapes: 100% sangiovese | Maturation on yeasts: 24 months in French barriques, tonneaux and 1000 litre barrels + 12 months in bottle | Online price: € 38

It is intense and concentrated ruby red, very consistent. The nose is delicate and elegant with notes of fresh cherry, pink pepper and violet, candied orange and a finish of rhubarb and juniper. In the mouth it is soft, fresh, tannic, structured and very harmonious. Long chinato finish. Wonderful.

Podere casanova vino nobile di montepulciano 700

Tasting #7: 'Unrepeatable ❤️❤️❤️ Toscana IGT (Supertuscan)

Grapes: / | Maturation on lees: 10 months in new barrels + 24 months in bottle | Online price: € 37

It is intense and concentrated ruby red, consistent. The nose is intense with notes of undergrowth, black mulberries, myrtle liqueur, Seichuan pepper and paraffin. In the mouth it is soft, fresh, savoury and structured. Long, savoury finish with great drinkability and a salivating finish.

Podere casanova super Tuscan unrepeatable

Tasting #8: 'Leggenda' Toscana IGT (Supertuscan) ❤️❤️

Grapes: sangiovese - merlot - syrah - cabernet sauvignon | Ageing on the lees: 18 months in new barrels + 24 months in bottle | Online price: € 89

It is ruby red with violet hues, consistency. The nose is mentholated, intense and broad with notes of chocolate, black cherry, fermented tobacco and green pepper. On the palate it is soft, fresh, savoury, structured and with very long bottle-ageing potential.

Podere casanova legend super Tuscan

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The Podere Casanova winery for the sommelier wine tourist

This splendid winery is the ambitious project of Susanna Ponzin e Isidore Rebatto, a Venetian couple that over decades has been able to build so much with an extraordinary entrepreneurial flair that has always been environmentally friendly. They have recovered and created hydroelectric power stations throughout Italy, driven by a great passion for quality wine and a love for Tuscany.

Podere Casanova: the vineyards

The vineyard is organically managed with even stricter criteria than those required by the certification itself, so much so that the 2023 vintage was eliminated due to the grapevine downy mildew. The black grapes cultivated are sangiovese, teroldego, merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. The cultivated white grapes are chardonnay, grechetto, petit manseng, sauvignon blanc and verdello.

Podere casanova vineyards

Podere Casanova: the wine-making cellar

The musts move by gravity into the vinification cellar, which has excellent medium-sized stainless steel barrels and is perfectly clean. 

Podere casanova winery vinification cellar vino nobile di montepulciano

Podere Casanova: the cooperage

In the barrel cellar where the wine destined to become Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG rests, there are barrels of various sizes, mainly French oak barriques and tonneaux. The space is neat and clean and the barrels rest on a wheeled system that is essential to facilitate bâtonnage.

Podere casanova bottaia vino nobile di montepulciano

Podere Casanova: the tasting room

The tasting room is located in the same building as the wine cellar, on the first floor. The large panoramic window with a small terrace overlooking the vineyards is very atmospheric. The grand piano invites moments where music is the co-star of the tasting. Sommeliers who have less time can sit on a stool at the bar counter and still taste at least a couple of wines. Everything is furnished with care and good taste: it is impossible not to notice the delightful vintage red and green velvet chairs.

Podere casanova montepulciano tasting room

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG: what if you discovered it while travelling?

The sommelier, and more generally the wine and food enthusiast, is often also a great wine tourist who loves to discover places and appellations to fall in love with. However, Podere Casanova is also a perfect agritourism to relax a few days away from the chaos of the city while enjoying wine, landscapes and Tuscan cuisine.

Podere Casanova: the flats in Montepulciano

Only three large flats have been created in the late 19th century manor house with the aim of addressing a quality clientele that really wants to enjoy the spaces in the farmhouse and not just consider it a place to sleep. Each flat has its own private space outside with a garden with a sitting area and barbecue.

Podere casanova where to sleep in montepulciano

The flats inside are different, but all very nice. In the photo below you can see the living area of the flat 'The Sunflowers'. The atmosphere is warm and there is a great smell when you enter. The kitchen is complete with everything, even a small dishwasher which I particularly appreciated. Comfort and completeness also make these flats perfect for those who want to stay many days, even weeks, to relax among the vineyards of Montepulciano.

Where to sleep in montepulciano flat

Podere Casanova: room service... or in the vineyard

On the evening of your arrival or - more generally - when you don't want to cook, you can ask for a basket full of delicious local products, fresh bread and a bottle of wine to taste. I, of course, chose a bottle of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG!

Podere casanova picnic in the vineyard

You can eat in your room or organise a romantic and/or relaxing picnic among the vines!

Podere casanova Room service montepulciano

Podere Casanova: a few minutes from Montepulciano

In less than 10 minutes by car on easy roads, you arrive in beautiful Montepulciano and can stroll through the medieval streets and enjoy breathtaking views of the Tuscan hills.

Montepulciano Tuscany

Where to eat in Montepulciano

Lovers of typical Tuscan cuisine can enjoy fresh pastas, fine meats, tagliatas and the inevitable Florentine steak at local restaurants. I have chosen to recommend these two because I have been there several times and I can say that they offer completely different experiences, but both are of quality.

Restaurant in Montepulciano: Le logge del Vignola

This is a small restaurant in the centre of Montepulciano with very few seats and an intimate atmosphere. Over the years it has grown a lot both in terms of cuisine and service. It offers a refined and scenic experience with prices in line with the type of restaurant. Both the pigeon with the intriguing fried meatball of offal and the aubergine and chocolate cigar proposed as dessert are particularly good.

Restaurant le logge del vignola Montepulciano

Trattoria in Montepulciano: Hotel-Ristorante Tiziana

A more 'simple' restaurant of really well done home cooking that is worth much more than it appears. The homemade fresh pasta is excellent as are the game sauces. The beef tagliata is cooked as you ask for it (which is not trivial for me who only eats blue meat) and the desserts are exquisite. The cheesecake with caramelised apples is particularly good.

Convenient location, just a few minutes from Podere Casanova and on the main road with ample parking.

Hotel restaurant Tiziana montepulciano

Happy Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG!