On Sunday I traveled outside of the busy city of Florence, to the rolling hills of Tuscany. Our tour guide took us to Salcheto Winery, a vineyard located in Montepulciano. It was a treck to get there, especially in a giant coach bus that barely fit on the winding dirt road leading to the vineyard, but it was completley worth it. Not only did we get an oppurtunity to take in the beautiful scenery, get a tour of the wine cellars, and learn alot about the wine making process, but we also got to sample the final product-alongside a delicious three course meal.
Our meal began with a glass of Rosata di Toscana. It was very fruity and just about everyone at my table agreed that it was the best of the three we drank. We were given a delicious plate of Picci pasta with tomato sauce to accoampy the wine. It was up there on my list of best pasta plates I’ve ever had.
For our main course we had a buffet with an assortment of breads, cheeses and other appetizers. SO GOOD. I thought it was interesting that we had pasta as our appetizers and appetizers as our main course. They do things so differently here!
Our next to glasses were of the same wine, but two seperate years of aging. The wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is the vineyards specialty. We were first given a glass of 2009 Vino Nobile. It was a very strong red wine with a very unique after taste. Then we followed it with a glass of 2006 Vino Nobile. It’s amazing seeing the difference three years of aging can make. They both had very different aftertastes. I personally liked the 2006 version of the wine, even though it was very dry which is normally the opposite of what I like wine- the after taste was realllllly good.
During the tour we learned that there are very strict rules in the wine world. In order to call your wine a specific name you have to make sure you follow a list of rules.
For example, with the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano some of the rules include:
-All grapes for the Vino Nobile must be grown within a 1 meter radius of Montelpulciano. If they are grown outside, they cannot be considered Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
-Only corks can be used on the Vino Nobile. NO screw caps.
-The Vino Nobile is stored in these wooden barrels before being bottled. There was absolutly no artificial light let into the wine cellars, there were holes of natural light being let into all of the rooms.
The Vino Nobile sold for 70 Euros a bottle. SEVENTY! We did recieve a student discount list where we could purchase it for just 35 euros. But, I went the cheap route and bought a bottle of the Rosata di Tuscana for 7 euros. I liked it waaaay better anyways.