Montepulciano wine region is a hill town located 25 miles South of Siena. The region is sandwiched between the river Ocra and Chiana. The whole area sits on a limestone ridge at an altitude of 1,985 feet. Montepulciano is home to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a Tuscan classic red wine. The wine is made from Sangiovese grape locally known as Prugnolo Gentile. This fruit must account for a minimum of 70% of the final wine.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano received its Denomination of Controlled Origin (DOC) classification in the 1960s. The DOC rules state that the production of wines has to follow the permitted grape varieties and aging requirements. The wines stature grew considerably, winning the adoration of Pope Paul III. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was finally awarded the Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin (DOCG) classification in 1980. Simply, the DOCG is a status that differentiates top Italian wines.
Aging of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine usually requires a minimum period of 24 months. Out of this, up to 12 months are spent in traditional oak barrels. The local barrels used have smaller surface areas and help avoid the undesirable vanilla taste. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines are uniquely stand out by their red-maroon color, strawberry aromas, and a tannic finish. The Montepulciano also produces sweet wines such as the Rosso di Montepulciano and the white Vin Santo di Montepulciano.