On 12th July 1966, three years after the issue of the Denominazioni di Origine law, the President of the Republic issued a Decree which recognised the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (D.O.C.) “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano”, and prescribed the regulations for its production.On 1st July 1980 the “Nobile” became the first Italian wine to display the neck-strip of the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.) which places it alongside the most prestigious wines in Italy and the world. The first series of “neck-strips” has been kept in Montepulciano at the Consorzio del Vino Nobile.According to the current production regulations (Ministerial Decree of 9th November 2010) the basic features of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are as follows:
According to the current production regulations (Ministerial Decree of 9th November 2010) Rosso di Montepulciano Doc is a relatively young wine rich in surprises and distinctive quality features. The production zone and grapes used are identical to the Nobile: Sangiovese, called “Prugnolo Gentile” at Montepulciano, minimum 70% may be joined up to 30% by other varieties authorized for the Tuscany Region. Its typical characteristics are the freshness of a youthful wine alongside the elegance of “Prugnolo Gentile”, making this wine excellent value for money and ideally served with local dishes. The Rosso di Montepulciano is a perfect accompaniment for traditional Tuscan first courses, and its features are especially enhanced by meat sauces as well as cured meats and local cheeses. Fine quality at fair prices for a wine which is becoming the battlehorse for Montepulciano production.
It is the niche product for many wineries, tracing the oldest tradition, the simple country actions innate in its character. It is Vin Santo di Montepulciano, the third (but not in order of importance) of the “Nobile” area.
Once called the “wine of hospitality”, it was used to warm up a passing stranger on his way down from the hills, celebrate some happy event, or make a toast on a Sunday after a special meal. Today, Vin Santo is slowly making its way back to a leading role for many wineries in Montepulciano who continue to produce it with impressive results.
The production specifications for Vin Santo di Montepulciano date back to 1996 although it has centuries of tradition. According to the current production regulations (Ministerial Decree of 9th November 2010) there are three distinct designations: Vin Santo di Montepulciano, Vin Santo di Montepulciano – Riserva, Vin Santo di Montepulciano – Occhio di Pernice. The first two use Malvasia Bianca, Grechetto bianco (called “Pulcinculo” in Montepulciano), and Trebbiano toscano grapes. The specifications do not accept the use of aromatic varieties or grapes that are not grown in the province of Siena. The “Occhio di Pernice” has a different combination of varieties: a minimum of 50% Sangiovese with other varieties grown in the terroir.
The traditional fermentation method is extremely typical: the harvested grapes are selected with the greatest care and hung up to dry in temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms. Drying makes it possible to obtain the sugar level necessary to make the wine. According to the specifications the grapes must be pressed from the 1st December for Vin Santo di Montepulciano and minimum from the 1st of January for the other tipology and then aged in wooden barrels (caratelli) with a minimum capacity of 75 litres for the Occhio di Pernice and maximum of 300 litres (Vin Santo di Montepulciano). The ageing period lasts for at least 3 years for the Vin Santo di Montepulciano, 5 years for the Riserva and 6 for the Occhio di Pernice.