SAN POLO - MONTALCINO
The key words to describe Montalcino - a superlative wine-growing area that is recognized and appreciated as a benchmark throughout the world - could fill entire pages of a book.
This land is severe yet generous, the air is pure, the landscape unspoilt. It is steeped in history, culture, tradition and dotted with medieval hamlets and dense patches of woodland. This is home of Orcia, Ombrone, Monte Amiata, Sant'Antimo, with its sunshine, wind, light, slow pace of life, peacefulness, agricultural lifestyle, vines, vineyards, a multitude of farms, hillsides sloping in all directions, rolling hills, sweeping heights, diverse microclimates, Sangiovese, Brunello, fame, the world, aristocracy and so much more... San Polo.
The hills of Montalcino were formed during different geological periods and therefore soil types vary greatly: at higher elevations, the soil is mostly calcareous and rich in fossils and has large clay and limestone deposits. Montalcino's geographical position renders it one of the most suitable areas for the cultivation of Sangiovese. The vineyards have a south/south-westerly exposure at an altitude of 450 m (1,480 ft) above sea level, ideal conditions for this varietal. The poor soils are composed of porous grey rock (galestro), calcareous rock composed of fine-grained limestone (alberese), fine sandstone, fine and marly limestone and loam containing fossil deposits. Located on a hilltop, the vineyards enjoy constant ventilation thus avoiding fog, freezing temperatures or late frosts and reducing the risk of attacks by parasites, ensuring the grapes ripen in prime conditions.
The roots of this great wine may be found in the study of the potential of a clone of the Sangiovese variety, Sangiovese Grosso, called 'Brunello' due to the particularly dark colour of the berries.
Records of the earliest production of this red wine - which immediately reveals its superlative credentials - date back to the mid-1800s. Originally known and appreciated only locally due also to its high selling price, Brunello di Montalcino
gained fame in 1950, conquering first the Italian market and then an international market.
The Brunello di Montalcino DOC appellation was conferred in 1967, thus preserving this wine's undeniable excellence. In 1980, the appellation was elevated to DOCG.