Panoramic view of a Montepulciano

Nobile di Montepulciano

Wines

TOSCANA

toscana
wine areas
Grapes
Wineries
Travel

Nobile di Montepulciano

Area

Nobile di Montepulciano comes from the namesake township in the heart of Tuscany.

History
The town of Montepulciano is one of the most famous in Tuscany, housing top-notch tourist attraction like the picturesque Piazza Grande and the San Biagio temple, one of the masterpieces of 15th century architecture.
 
As for the wines of Montepulciano, Titus Livius was the first to mention a wine made in the surroundings of Chiusi, the neighboring town of Montepulciano, by the Etruscans.
 
Several witnesses hinting a thriving viticultural sector appeared in between the Middle Ages and the renaissance period. Sante Lancerio, the cellar manager of Pope Paul III, praised the wines of Montepulciano, considering them suitable for consumption by the aristocracy.
 
The first witness of the word "Nobile" (noble) referring to the wines of Montepulciano appeared in an expenses report by governor Giovan Filippo Neri dating back to 1787.
 
The presence of medieval cellars beneath ancient palaces in the old town of Montepulciano further evidences a long-running winemaking tradition.
Regulations
Foundation: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was awarded the Denominazione di Origine Controllata with Presidential Decree July 12, 1966, and thanks to its international reputation it was subsequently one of the first wines to be awarded the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.), with Presidential Decree.
 
Elevation to DOCG: Nobile di Montepulciano was the first appellation to earn DOCG status in 1980.
 
Latest Updates: In 2021, the consorzio vino Nobile di Montepulciano launched the new Pievi project, creating twelve subzones in the township corresponding to as many historic districts of the Diocese of Montepulciano. Producers will be allowed to sport the subzone their wines originate from the label of the wines, as long as they meet the requirements stated in the new Pieve disciplinary.

Nobile di Montepulciano

The first Italian wine to earn DOCG status in 1980, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is the most important Sangiovese-based red made in Tuscany along with Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Brunello di Montalcino.
 
Lying right in the heart of the region, the town of Montepulciano has an extremely ancient winemaking tradition, which is testified by the presence of medieval cellars beneath palaces in the old town.
 
Montepulciano also boasts the most continental climate among the appellations producing Sangiovese in Tuscany, and Vino Nobile aptly reflects the cooler growing conditions. Made with a local biotype of Sangiovese called “Prugnolo Gentile”, it is usually darker in color and more fruit-forward than Chianti Classico or Brunello di Montalcino, with rich flavors of dark cherries, blackberries or plums deriving counterbalancing astringent tannins and high acidity.
 
Another prerogative of Nobile di Montepulciano is the higher proportion of grapes other than Sangiovese allowed into the blend (more on that below). 
Nobile di Montepulciano in a Nutshell
  • Hectares under vine: approximately 2,000
  • Total surface of the appellation: 165 km2
  • Vineyard altitude: 200 to 650 meters above sea level
  • Annual rainfall: 703.6 mm
  • Prevalent soil types: pliocenic sands, silted clay

 

The production area 

The Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG covers the entire township of Montepulciano, except for the portion lying in Val di Chiana. Vineyards have to lie between 250 and 600 meters above sea level.
 
 

Grapes 

 
Nobile di Montepulciano must contain at least 70% Sangiovese (locally known as Prugnolo Gentile). Up to 30% other grapes allowed for wine production in Tuscany may complement the blend.
 
Merlot is the second most widely grown grape in Montepulciano, and the most common complementary grape. It usually imparts extra richness to the blend, softening the mighty tannins of Sangiovese from Montepulciano.
 
Nobile di Montepulciano Pieve will have to be at least 85% Sangiovese, with no more than 15% other native Tuscan red grapes completing the blend.
 

Aging requirements:

Vinification and ageing must take place within the township of Montepulciano.
 
Here are the specific requirements for each category:
 
Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG: minimum 24 months’ aging, starting from January 1st following the harvest.
 
Within this period producers may choose from the following options:
 
  • 24 months of maturation in oak.
  • 18 months minimum maturation in oak and the remaining months in other ageing vessels.
  • 12 months minimum in oak and six months minimum in bottle and the remaining months in other ageing vessels.
In the second and third cases, the beginning of oak ageing must not be after April 30 of the year following the harvest.
 
 
Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva: minimum 36 months’ aging, including 12 months in oak.
 
Nobile di Montepulciano Pieve (yet to be approved): same as Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva.

Toscana

 

Curiosities, food and wine pairings and much more