“Every wine is king” – these words resonated then when spoken by seventeenth century poet Francesco Redi, and still do now.
Our trip is long and begins with the great Tuscan wines, one in particular – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. This wine was born on the hilltops of a mediaeval town that goes by the same name. We head towards the home of this great wine towards the province of Siena, and along the way, our eyes can’t help but admire the breathtaking views of Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia.
The certified denomination of DOCG was introduced to the industry in 1980. This label indicated that the wine we are about to visit must contain a minimum of 70% Sangiovese grapes (“prugnolo gentile”) and up to 20% of Canaiolo Nero grape.
This noble wine was known well before 1980 of course! The origins of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano date as far back as the 9th century, which was founded with a legend. The Historical Geographical Dictionary of Tuscany, published by Emanuele Repetti in the mid-19th century actually references this wine in a document from the year 789.
This wine has both history and future in its bottles. According to the Consortium of Vino Nobile, in 2014, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is worth over €500 million. And it’s no wonder – the Municipality of Montepulciano has over 16,500 hectares of land, 2,200 of which are cultivated vineyards – that’s 16% of the municipality. Over 250 winemakers have produced over 56 thousand hectoliters of wine and over 17,000 hectoliters will become red wine.
Number of sales only prove the importance of Tuscan wine both locally and internationally. Sales in wine exports have increased by 8% compared to 2013, and by 10% compared to 2014 with a peak coming from East Europe. The international market is certainly a one who knows their wine – over 76% of the bottles produced are exported due to the high demand, in particular to Germany (48% of the exports). The United States is the second largest consumer (17.5% of the exports) with an increase of 1.5% over compared to 2012 and 2013. All this simply attests for the fact that Italy, and in particular Tuscany, is a strong contender when it comes to wine.