Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG is regarded by many as one of the elite Italian wines, by some—the best. Capped as Nobile (Noble) by the Governor of the Conservatory of San Girolamo in 1787, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was among the first group of wines in Italy to receive DOCG appellation in 1980. Each year at the Vino Nobile preview, the previous vintage of wine is awarded stars on a 5-star scale, with 5 considered excellent. This year experts will be allotting stars to 2017 based on the climactic and micro-climactic factors between April and September.
Open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, February 10 and 11, the Nobile 2015 (a 5-star year), the 2014 Riserva as well as other Montepulciano wines will be previewed at the Medici fortress. From 3 to 7:30 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 6:30 pm on Sunday, the wine enthusiast may peruse the offerings from over 40 wineries amounting to over 100 wines.
For centuries, the echo of the famed Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has sounded well beyond the borders of the lovely town from which it comes. The wine’s fine qualities have been recognized throughout the world even though it has always been sparingly produced on the slopes just east of Montepulciano. The landscape’s soft tufa volcanic rock helps to create the resonance of a wine that is an integral part of Italian culture. Prugnolo Gentile, a clone of that mainstay of Tuscan reds, Sangiovese, is the grape used in producing Vino Nobile.
During the preview, be sure to devote some time to visit the area, as the party is sure to spill over into the quaint medieval alleys of Montepulciano as well. At the center of a historic tug-of-war between the republics of Siena and Florence, the town has a distinctly Florentine look.
When Florence gained control of Montepulciano at the start of the 15th century, the Medici family was quick to stake claim over the new territory. Architect Michelozzo was sent to Montepulciano to give its existing town hall – Palazzo Comunale – a face lift resulting in a facade in travertine copied directly from Palazzo Vecchio and most recently seen in the TV series Medici: Masters of Florence. (david shackelford/additional reporting by ellen santucci masi)