Tuscany and wine go mano nello mano – hand in hand. For wine lovers, this magnificent region that’s so close to my heart is the Holy Grail and it’s responsible for producing some of the finest wines in the world.
The long tradition of wine making is not just an industry here, it’s a way of life, and one that’s undertaken with relentless skill, passion and more than a touch of national pride. In every Tuscan winery – from the smallest, family-run establishment to the sleek big name operations of the famous world-renowned brands – the heritage and honour of centuries of agriculture rides on every grape and every cork that passes through their hands.
The Region of Brunello di Montalcino
Nowhere is this sense of responsibility taken more seriously than in Montalcino – from whence the formidable Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino and a stable of other prestigious Tuscan DOCG wines emanate.
In choosing my list of favourites here I’ve considered not just the wines themselves, but also the location, ambience and hospitality – the experience, if you will.
To me, this is the epitome of what my clients want and expect to see from a Tuscan vineyard. Encompassing a gentle slope just below the town, the views of neatly planted vines spilling down the hill to the valley below are simply extraordinary. Even though I’ve visited many times, it still manages to make my heart skip a beat with pride. The outstanding organic Brunello the estate produces is the only thing that can bring me back to earth…
I’ve found a lot of the clients I bring on food and wine tours to Tuscany are interested in the biodynamic methods of agriculture and wine production, and this estate is one of the best places to see that in action. Using the latest hi-tech (and traditional low-tech) environmentally friendly techniques, they produce some of the most acclaimed wines in the region.
Proving you don’t have to be big to be better, this wonderful estate has been in the same family hands for centuries. Its cellar is home to some Brunellos dating back to 1888, and I’m hoping I’m still around when they deem them mature enough to drink!
Sesti – Castello Di Argiano
Ah, what can I say about this estate to do it justice? Maybe that it’s one of the most beautiful locations in the world? Perhaps that it produces one of the most renowned vintages in Tuscany? Or possibly that you just have to experience it for yourself to understand why this is consistently rated one of our guests’ favourite wineries? All of the above… and more.
I have to include Il Palazzone on my list of top five – not just for its fantastic Brunellos, but also for its proprietors’ passion and knowledge, and their generosity of spirit in sharing it. Laura and Marco have made friends from all over the world with their wonderful warmth, hospitality and ability to bring the methods of wine making to the everyman.
Discover your Own Favourites
There are actually so many more wineries I could add to this list, and it would have to be at least a Top 20 in order to reveal my definitive favourites. But the way I look at it, I have to leave you something to do, don’t I? Prego!