Ciao a tutti…
During these challenging times, we thought we would provide just a little escape to the Tuscan wine country and tell you about a few of our favorite wineries. In Italy, wine is always shared with family and friends and includes good conversation – so let’s begin the tour!
For our next two blogs, we want to share with you our top 4 favorite wineries that you can visit while staying at Fonte Martino. In this blog, we will share our 2 favorite smaller family-owned wineries and in the next, we will share our 2 favorite larger wine producers – and all of them make fantastic wine!
First up is our favorite Brunello winery, Innocenti, which is located in Montalcino. Owned by brothers Gianni and Massimo, this family-run winery must be experienced during your stay with us. When you first arrive at Innocenti, you immediately notice the incredible panoramic views of their vineyard and surrounding valley, which includes views of Montalcino. As if that weren’t enough, the amazing Patrizia, who is Gianni’s sister-in-law, warmly greets you in their tasting room. Patrizia is not only extremely intelligent about wine and olive oil production, her warm welcome will instantly make you feel as if you are part of the family…which we do!
Patrizia will take you on a tour of their cellar and graciously answer all of your questions about their production. You will quickly learn that this family is focused on quality and if there is a bad grape harvest, they will not produce a vintage that year. Their philosophy is that they would rather produce small quantities of fantastic wine than produce inferior wine due to a bad harvest.
After the tour, it’s back to the tasting room where it is now time to sample the wines. To complement them, a selection of locally produced artisan meats, cheeses, bread, and their own production of olive oil will appear at your table to enjoy. Sometimes if you are lucky, you may get to taste Patrizia’s mother’s a-m-a-z-i-n-g Cantucci, which are traditional almond cookies. While enjoying the Tuscan treats, Patrizia begins pouring the wines. This is not a random wine tasting, there is method and a specific order in which the wines will be presented to ensure maximum enjoyment.
When visiting Patrizia, Gianni, and Massimo at Innocenti, we suggest allowing a minimum of 1.5 hours for the tour and tasting…but if you are anything like us, it’s easy to spend an afternoon there because after all, you will be part of the family!
Our next favorite is Podere Albiano, which is a stunningly beautiful drive from Fonte Martino. Owned by friends Anna and Alberto, they found a property many years ago in ruins between Montalcino and Montepulciano in the Valdorcia. Their passion and love of wine made it easy for them to restore this intimate winery that produces top quality wines.
When Anna and Alberto found Podere Albiano, they planted 25,000 grapevines – by hand, producing vineyards that bask under the warm Tuscan sun. Each morning, they are the first in their fields and at night, they are the last to leave ensuring each vine is nurtured to produce only the best grapes. During harvest season, Anna first painstakingly sorts through each bunch of grapes and then once the grapes are separated from the stems, she chooses each and every individual grape that will in time become their wine.
Podere Albiano is tucked away in a beautiful location that only adds to the tour experience. Anna and Alberto will warmly greet you and offer a tour of their vineyard and cellars. This is followed by a tasting of their impressive wines. One of the most memorable experiences when visiting Podere Albiano is an opportunity to help in the vineyard. Past guests who have stayed at Fonte Martino have been able to assist with everything from caring for the vines to helping with the actual grape harvest and sorting. Now that would be a wonderful experience to tell friends about while sharing a bottle of wine that you helped produce!
This concludes sharing our two-favorite family-owned wineries and next up will be our two favorite larger wineries. We wish you and your families well and please know that we are waiting to warmly welcome you at Fonte Martino so that you can begin your Tuscan wine tasting experience!