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Montalcino is known worldwide for its most celebrated product, the Brunello wine. Nevertheless, this town is a medieval gem of history and art to be discovered, surrounded by the most glorious hills of Val d’Orcia.
The beauty of the Montalcino area goes far beyond its lovely town. The entire surrounding Val d’Orcia area is stunning and worth visiting. Characterized by a thick covering of forest, clearing at times for the traditional cultivation of vines and olive trees on the hillslopes, it is not coincidentally a World Heritage Site since 2004.
Deep into this evocative countryside, near Castelnuovo dell'Abate rises the splendid Abbey of Sant'Antimo, a monumental and extremely charming structure from the thirteenth century. On a tastier note, the close San Giovanni d'Asso hosts the Truffle Museum, the first one in Italy dedicated to this. Visiting it is a mouthwatering and memorable journey to discover this unique product.
If you are based in Montalcino, it is easy to access the famous villages of Montepulciano and Pienza, both at about 15 miles, and also to Bagno Vignoni, famous for the thermal baths and SPAs. In the area you can find the best pecorino Toscano cheese producers and also a fantastic extra virgin olive oil coming from the hills around San Quirico, made by Frantoio, Leccino and Moraiolo cultivars.
The lovely Pian delle Ginestre winery is located in the south area of Montalcino, inside the valley that opens between Castelnuovo dell’Abate and Sant’Angelo in Colle, 300 meters above the sea level. It extends for about 90 hectares, 5.5 of which are vineyards certified for the production of Brunello wine; the remaining part of the estate includes 2.850 secular olive trees, arable fields and woodland.
The area is naturally devoted to the production of the refined Brunello di Montalcino, obtained by top quality Sangiovese grapes that find their maximum expression here. Sheltered from the north side from the Tramontana winds, the vineyards benefit from the influence of temperate winds coming from the sea, which give wines a unique salty taste.
The peculiar terroir is composed by red soil, marlstone and a stony ground. A ‘clay cove’ situated 3 meters underground gives vineyards relief during drought seasons, keeping roots always properly moist.
The unique combination of these elements grants the natural high quality of the grapes, from which, every year, Pian delle Ginestre produces about 30.000 bottles of outstanding wine, such as Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG and Rosso Di Montalcino DOC.
Imagine a land naturally devoted to viticulture, where grapes find the best conditions for their qualities to shine. Imagine a land that is mother to one of the most refined and appreciated wines in the world, Brunello di Montalcino. Image the knowledge, the passion, the commitment of the men and women that, from generation to generation, have lived, worked and loved this land and its fruits. Imagine that the story of this land is forever interweaved with your own.
If you have succeeded in imagining all this, then you have had a first encounter with the Pian delle Ginestre winery and their owner, the Ciacci family - ancient and highly valued landholders and wine producers in Montalcino. The history of their estate dates back to the Middle Ages. The building that now hosts their home office, located in Montalcino old town, has medieval origins and it seems to have been the residence of the leader during that time, called "Podestà”. Inside the building's cellars, some tunnels are still visible that one day supposedly lead from outside Montalcino’s walls to inside the Cathedral.
The main winery is situated at 300 meters above sea level, just inside the most exceptional Brunello di Montalcino production area. It features ancient olive trees as well as vineyards.
Despite the necessary modernization of the production methods, the Ciacci family identifies their origins and their strong connection with the land and local traditions as the main foundation on which they grow and develop. The ingredients of their excellent and sincere Brunello di Montalcino are irreplaceable.
It is probably Italy’s most famous wine and, like many other great ones, it is entirely obtained from one grape only: Sangiovese. We can consider this small territory around the village of Montalcino a kind of Haven for vine growing, blessed by the breeze of Val d’Orcia and the unique soil composition made with a blend of clay, chalk and tufa. After 5 years of aging in barrique – wood it’s therefore extremely important for this wine - it has a great concentration, a good balance, elegance and depth. We can consider Montalcino a real small and exclusive community of producers regulated by a very strict DOCG protocol.
Brunello di Montalcino, as described by Carlo Ferrini