22 Jun

Driving through the hills of Tuscany, about one hour outside of Cortona, one views the majestic city of Montepulciano. The main monuments, pictured here, were built between the 1300-1500s. As you can see, the city  was not very crowded. Perhaps it is because one needs to have very strong knees to ascend the steep hills! The panorama from the top is amazing, with vineyards, wheat fields and sunflowers as far as the eye can see in the ever stretching azure sky.

We lunched at Osteria del Bargo on the sweetest melon and just carved prosciutto overlooking terra cotta tiled roofs, towns and cities miles away, and the ever present red geraniums.

Among other things, Montepulciano is well known for its Nobile wines. What we learned today is that a wine that we have been drinking,  Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, is of the Montepulciano grape, but from Abruzzo, not Tuscany. Conversely, Montepulciano Nobile, is by law, a blend of  80% Sangiovese grapes from Tuscany combined with other varietals. Afterward, we sampled wines at Poliziano and Contucci. Poliziano sells wines in the U.S., and we particularly liked the Rosso for an every day table wine and the even better Nobile.

Perhaps the best part of the entire trip was Len enjoying the countryside sites and singing “The hills are alive with the signs of vino. With vines they have grown for a thousand years. The hills fill my heart with anticipation...” well, you get it…no comments about my driving, which I take as an extreme compliment! And actually, through all the hills and all the curves, we made it back to Cortona easily and found a great spot to park.

Our best dinner yet was tonight at Toscana. Benita would have loved it, but beware to all my vegan nieces…we had an amazing bistecca!


Till next,


6 Responses to “Montepulciano”

  1. Alexis Colianni June 22, 2011 at 4:58 PM #

    This is really wonderful. Sounds like you two are off to a great start navigating and enjoying the best foods and wines. We wish we were there, bad knees and all!
    xoxox a.


  2. Sandy Holswade June 22, 2011 at 5:49 PM #


    You are bringing back so many wonderful memories. It sounds like you are having such a good time! Is there a way I can enlarge the photos? I want to see everything up close and personal. Your blog is great regardless. Can’t wait until tomorrow to see what you do, where you go, who you meet.




    • blogginginitaly June 23, 2011 at 9:40 AM #

      Hi Sandy,
      Love hearing from you…Click on any picture to enlarge. I may start putting in bigger ones if I can…


      • Sandy Holswade June 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM #

        Darn. I tried that and it didn’t work for me.



  3. loren June 24, 2011 at 9:03 AM #

    How interesting!

    So, how do they make the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine? Do they grow Montepulciano grapes in Abruzzo? There may be an obvious answer to this question that I’m missing. I’d like to know because our favorite table wine, which we always have on hand, is called Cantina Zaccagnini and is a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. I always assumed it was from Tuscany!

    And perhaps, next time an audio recording of Uncle Len?



    • Judy Gingerella June 24, 2011 at 11:44 AM #

      Loren, That’s what we thought and many are like us…but, it is true, your wine comes from Abruzzo!!! That’s where Papa’s father was from …pietrabondante, Abruzzo, so maybe that’s why we all like it so much!!! xoxox


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