MONTALCINO is a hill-top town in the Province of Siena in Tuscany, Italy, around 24.8 miles (40km) south of the city if Siena itself. The commune of Montalcino encompasses both the town and an extensive surrounding area. This produces four wines of which the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is considerd one of the world’s most renowned red wine. Brunello is made from 100% Sangiovese, locally called Brunello, and must age two years in oak. Another 100% Sangiovese red wine produced only in Montalcino is Rosso di Montalcino DOC. Unlike Brunello, this 100% Sangiovese can be sold unoaked and it can be released within the year. How much Brunello or Rosso one can produce is decided on a quota based on vineyard holdings.
The Sant’Antimo DOC covers still wines from a range of different grape varieties and can be produced in all three colours. It is named after the medieval abbey (‘abazzia‘) in Castelnuovo dell’Abate in south-east Montalcino. Montalcino also boasts a small production of Moscadello di Montalcino DOC, a sweet white wine whose history pre-dates Brunello by several hundred years.
As Montalcino lies within the Province of Siena producers can also bottle their red wines as Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG (few do).
For population data and tourist-related information about visiting the town and its extensive surrounding area, collectively the Comune di Montalcino in Italian local government-speak, see Comune di Montalcino. For purely wine-related information, read on.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME | The name “Montalcino” may derive from Mons Lucinus, the mount of Lucina in Latin, after the Roman goddess Lucina (the Greek Juno). A more widely accepted alternative holds that Montalcino derives from Mons Ilcinus or Monte Leccio, leccio being the Italian for holm oak or ilex (ilicis in Latin). The coat of arms of the Municipality of Montalcino features a holm oak atop three mountains. In the town’s Civil and Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, a coat of arms for Montalcino dating from the 14th-century made from onyx shows the holm oak.
STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE | The mass of hills upon which the town of Montalcino sites (the eastern side being the inhabited part) is both wide and easy to defend and dominates the immediate surrounding area (Guelfo Magrini 2003, p20).
FIRST EVIDENCE OF WINE | Montalcino is the centre of what was once Etruria, whose people, the Etruscans, gave their name to Tuscany and are an ancient italic civilisation (Guelfo Magrini 2003, p20). Archeological evidence in the form of amphora and pourers designed to filter out the spices used at that time to flavour the wine suggests wine was made here by the Etruscans in around the 4th-century BC. From 1000 AD tannins from the local oak trees was used to tan leather, and the charcoal from the trees fired the kilns for pottery.
MIDDLE AGES: INDEPENDENCE | Between the 12th and 16th centuries, Montalcino was a wealthy city state of and an important republic in its own right. In the 13th century the cities of first Siena and then Florence fought for control of of Montalcino for its strategic importance. First, Montalcino had to defend itself militarily against Siena until the Battle of Montaperti in 1260, in which Siena defeated Florence. This meant Montalcino came under Siena’s . The battle was so bloody that the river Arbia was said to have run red, and Montalcino people (Montalcinesi or Ilcinesi) are still nicknamed ‘becca morti‘ or grave diggers. A hard, small, oblong-shaped local biscuit is called ‘ossi morti’ or dead bones. For the next 300 years Montalcino had to defend itself against the might of Florence and was considered an impenetrable stronghold, protected by walls and by its great fortress (la fortezza), built in 1361.
Montalcino is especially remembered for its resistance in several sieges to which it was subjected between 1526 and 1559. It fought the French army, that Pope Clement VIII sent against it in 1526, and the troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1553. In 1553 Florence besieged Montalcino, with Spanish help. After being defeated in 1555, the Siena Republic was driven away by the Medici and a government was set up in Montalcino, where for four years the city’s exiles lived. Montalcino’s commander Marshal Montluc ‘reddened his face with robust vermilion wine’ in order to appear less pale and food-deprived. The siege was called off after the Spanish general saw a vision of the Madonna, hence she became patron saint of the town. In 1559 Florence seized Montalcino and the inhabitants of Montalcino handed the keys of the city to the representatives of Cosimo de’ Medici in 1559. The town had been the last to survive as an independent municipality in Italy. The 1559 Treaty of Chateau Cambresis sanctioned peace between France and Spain, gave Siena, Montalcino and their lands to the Dukedom of Tuscany (Grand Duchy under the Medici). Later, the Kingdom of Italy absorbed the Dukedom. This was the beginning of its modern history. There was no longer any need for the town to defend itself. The leather shoes and terracotta that had made the town wealthy were abandoned in favour of agriculture, including wine.
MIDDLE AGES: WINEMAKING | In the Middle Ages, municipal edicts established the time of year when grapes were to be harvested, while even during the siege of 1553, there was no shortage of wine, and Blaise de Montluc, troubled with the task of fending off attacks to the city walls, would “rub his face to a ruby-red color with red wine” to dissimulate the ordeal. Leandro Alberti (1550-1631) from Bologna states that Montalcino is “much mentioned for the good wines that are reaped from those homely hills”. On his visit to Montalcino in 1676-1677, the grand-duke auditor Bartolomeo Gherardini points to the production of 6050 somas of wine, which he describes as a “lively wine, though not abundant”. Charles Thompson writes in 1744 that “Montalcino is not particularly famous, except for the goodness of its wines”.
19TH CENTURY: MODERN BRUNELLO BORN | The birth of Brunello of Montalcino dates to the 19th century, when a handful of local farmers began to making a red wine from grapes of a vine traditionally cultivated in the surrounding lands, known as “Brunello” or “Brunellino”. Around the mid-1800’s this is identified as a variety of Sangiovese, a red wine grape capable of producing wines which age. The first documented mention of ‘Brunello’ occured when Clemente Santi won a prize at a local fair for his 1865 ‘vino rosso scelto (brunello)’. This was the first example in Italy of a single varietal prestige wine.
The region then suffered from oidium and downy mildew, with the white Moscadello vines worst hit it seems. Sangiovese seemed to fare better. Clemente Santi’s grandson Ferruccio who had improved the selection of Sangiovese made by his grandfather from the 1850s bottled his first wine from it in 1888 and Brunello di Montalcino came into being. “It was Ferruccio who, precisely because of the preserving properties of those unalleviated hard tannins of the Sangiovese Grosso clone he called Brunello, conceived of Brunello (the wine) as a vino da invecchamento, a wine for long ageing, backing his judgement by laying down substantial quantities of the still extant 1888 and 1891,’ writes Nicolas Belfrage (2003, p112). Thus Brunello is a far more recent invention compared to other Tuscan wines such as Vino Nobile and Vernaccia di San Gimignano; and anyway sweet Moscadello wine was what the Montalcino area had been primarily known for until the end of the C19th.
20TH CENTURY | At the start of the C20th Montalcino was a rich community at an important crossroads linking the Maremma, Rome and Arezzo. By 1920 there were 2,000 hectares of vines, and wine was starting to take its place amongst agricultural crops. The 1930s were tough here due to phylloxera. The vineyard area in 1930 was the biggest it would be for fifty years. During the Second World War local cellars were drunk dry. The region had three good post-war harvests in 1945 (great), 1946 (very good), and 1947 (great).
1950s | From the 1950s Montalcino families like the Colombini from Fattoria dei Barbi, the Lisini, the Franceschi at Il Poggione, Costanti Lovatelli, Mastropaolo and the Nardi of Casale del Bosco and Castiglion del Bosco began bottling Brunello.
1960s In the 1960s a by-pass was built, meaning traffic no longer passed through Montalcino, leaving it as something of a backwater. When DOC arrived in 1966 ‘there were 13 bottlers and 76 hectares (ha) of registered vines,’ says O’Keefe (reference). In 1967 the Consorzio was founded–see consorzio. The arrival of the DOC and the end of the mezzadria or sharecropping system meant winegrowing started to become more specialised (monocultural).
In the 1970s there was both a steady influx of new arrivals (eg. La Magia, Sesti), and a trend for local grape growers to convert to estate winemaking which meant they needed to build wineries and find winemaking consultants (Casanova di Neri).
In 1978 The Mariani brothers creates what is now the Banfi winery.
1980 DOCG GRANTED | In 1980 (thanks, it seems, due to the arrival of Banfi) Brunello became the first Italian wine to obtain DOCG. This fixed tighter standards and reduced yields to 80 quintals (56hl/ha). Over the next decade substantial investments were made by the likes of Banfi, Agricola Centolani’s Tenuta Friggiali, SAI Agricola’s La Poderina, the Marchesi family’s Val di Suga, the Frescobaldi family at Castelgiocondo, and San Felice who own Campogiovanni.
1984 ROSSO DI MONTALCINO | In 1984 the Rosso di Montalcino DOC was granted.
1990s NEW BLOOD | In the 1990s there was a second influx of new blood (lots of Milanese) from areas such as business, law and medicine, which led to the creation or renewal of wineries like Altesino, Argiano, Castello Banfi, Campogiovanni, Caparzo and Castelgiocondo. Established estates such as Conti Costanti, Fuligni and Siro Pacenti had to raise their game when a younger generation took over. This changed Montalcino from being the poor neighbour in the province of Siena to being the richest.
1997 VINEYARD AREA ENLARGEMENT | Kerin O’Keefe (11 2006, p74) says that In 1997 ‘during what is now being called the golden era for Brunello, producers successfully petitioned to have the appellation’s sealed registers reopened to increase production and satisfy a seemingly insatiable market. Unfortunately for Montalcino, this was followed by EU decree 950, whereby those under 40 years old were given land and planting rights to attract a new generation into agriculture. These two developments were duly exploited.’ Those wanting to plant had to pay to obtain the right to plant. The result was vines being planted in hitherto non-traditional wine-growing areas like Torrenieri to the north-east of the town, as well as in more traditional areas south of the town, such as Castelnuovo dell’Abate and Sant’Angelo in Colle.
THE TERROIR OF MONTALCINO
TERROIR The wines of Montalcino (Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Moscadello di Montacino DOC and Sant’Antimo DOC) all come 100% from grapes grown within the boundary of the commune of Montalcino.
SHAPE OF THE REGION | The Montalcino production zone is like a four-sided square each of whose sides measure roughly 9.3 miles (15 km) for a combined surface area of what was 94 square miles (243 square km) until Montalcino merged administratively with the neighbouring township of San Giovanni d’Asso to the east (66 square km). However, the boundary for the Montalcino region’s wines did not change, meaning wines from San Giovanni cannot be labelled as Brunello or Rosso di Montalcino, Sant’Antimo, or Moscadello. This means that the surface area of land allowed the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is 11 times bigger that the township of Pauillac (66 square km) in Bordeaux.
The north-western area is mainly forest , hence it has become known as as ‘Bosco’ or wood. The north-eastern area around the hamlet of Torrenieri is mostly clay, so crops like wheat, and forage dominate. The vineyards of Montalcino are really concentrated in the north around the town, in the center, and in the southern part.
SURROUNDING COMMUNES | Asciano (SI), Buonconvento (SI), Castel del Piano (GR), Castiglione d’Orcia (SI), Cinigiano (GR), Civitella Paganico (GR), Murlo (SI), Pienza (SI), Trequanda (SI) and San Quirico d’Orcia (SI).
WATERCOURSES | The original region comprising the commune of Montalcino is bordered by four watercourses of which the two most important are the Orcia and the Ombrone. The largest is the (shallow) Ombrone to the north-west (whose source is near Castelnuovo Berardenga in the Chianti Classico region). The Ombrone meets the Arbia, which flows north but soon turns east, creating the wide, low Arbia valley (Val d’Arbia). This was crossed in Roman times by the Cassian road (Via Cassia) and the Francigena, a route created in late medieval times by religious pilgrims. The two roads follow the valley and meet in Torrenieri before continuing towards Rome (Magrini 2003, p21). The Orcia river lies to the south, and meets and feeds the Ombrone in the south-west of the Montalcino region from where the Ombrone flows west and south-west towards Grosseto and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the western Mediterranean, 25 miles (40km) from Montalcino as the crow flies.
TOPOGRAPHY | The Montalcino region rises from 71 metres (232 feet) to 567 metres (1,860 feet). The topography consists of high hills (70% of the area), mountain (1%), low, fertile plains (29%) and narrow valleys leading to the rivers mentioned above (Magrini 2003, p21). The upper limit above which vines were not permittied for Brunello has been scrapped (see Climate, below).
FOUR-SIDED PYRAMID | Fabian Schwarz of La Magia describes the town of Montalcino as being like ‘a pyramid, with a square base of four sides—four parts in Montalcino. There is the northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest. The two main climatic zones in Montalcino are the north area, which obviously is a little bit cooler, and the south which is a little bit warmer. Then we are strongly influenced by the Tyrrhenian sea, which is only 25 miles (40 kilometers) away to the west. The sea is especially influential on the western side of Montalcino.’ The extinct volcano Mount Amiata to the south is the highest peak in Tuscany at 1,738 metres (5,702 feet), and Italy’s second highest volcano (after Etna). Dominating the territory of Montalcino, Amiata protects vineyards in the southeastern part (Castelnuovo dell’Abate) from winds that come from the plains. It is also a buffer against hot sirocco winds coming from the south (Magrini 2003, p23), and catalyzes bad weather, drawing the heaviest rains, and leaving the remainder for Montalcino.
CLIMATE | Magrini (2003, p24-25) describes Montalcino’s climate as typically Mediterranean, with rainfall concentrated mainly in the spring and autumn, averaging 690-700mm (27.1-27.5 inches) annually. Months with the highest levels of rainfall are May, October and November. In winter snow above 40 metres (131 feet) is not infrequent (Magrini, ibid). The climate is mild, with over 160 sunny days annually. The 1,734-metre (5,689 feet) high Monte Amiata protects the region against rainstorms and hail. Hillside areas rarely experience freezing, late frost, or fog (although see the Canalicchio area). The variations in aspect and topography provides constant airflow which reduces the risk of vine diseases. The vineyards to the north west are cooler, those to the south (Camigliano, Tavernelle, Sant’Angelo, Castelnuovo dell’Abate) are more influenced by the warm winds blowing across the Maremma from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Overall, Montalcino is warmer and drier than the Chianti Classico region to the north which gets little direct moderating influence from the Tyrrhenian. This is reflected in Montalcino’s flora (see below), particularly the presence of mastic and Indian fig, and partly explains why unlike Chianti Classico DOCG or Vino Nobile, Brunello di Montalcino can and must be 100 per cent Sangiovese (‘Sangiovese in purezza’).
CLIMATE CHANGE | Notes taken by the Biondi-Santi family at their Il Greppo estate from 1976 show that rainfall has decreased by 30 percent, while the average temperature has risen 1ºC (1.8ºF), according to Franco Biondi-Santi (Kerin O’Keefe 2006 11, p77). The rule stating that vines had to be grown below 600 metres (1,968 feet) was intended to avoid unripe Brunellos from cool, high altitude sites, but in the wake of climate change the maximum altitude limit for Brunello was dropped in 2015 (see Le Ragnaie.)
GEOLOGY | Jan Erbach of Pian dell’Orino says ‘Montalcino’s underlying geology is complex because it was formed by the Sardinian and Corsican geological micro-plates (the latter part of the African plate) drifting north-east into what is now mainland Europe which of course has its own geological plate. This collision created the Appennines which came out of the sea 140 million years ago and are still rising. The African plate went under the Eurasian plate and created the Alps. The Montalcino zone’s topography and soils have several very varied influences too. The soils may have come from volcanic activity (Mount Amiata which left a sea of clay in Montalcino), from warm seas full of life which produce nutrient-rich soils, or from colder and life-poor ones which produce heavier soils with fewer nutrients [eg. galestro]. I have four different soil types in one of my smallest vineyards – bright clay, dark clay, dark stones, and light sand – and I am not alone. If I farm this vineyard as one homogeneous whole I’ll make a mish-mash of a wine with only moderate qualitative potential. However, by planting different Sangiovese clones on different rootstocks in each of the different soils, and then pruning, tending and picking the different sub-parcels of vines in subtly different ways, I can make maybe three really good top-priced wines and one really good lesser-priced wine. If every wine-grower in Montalcino had access to more information about what exactly their vine roots are digging into they’d be able to make better-informed choices when matching rootstocks and Sangiovese clones to certain soils, be they galestro or alberese or Pliocene clays. This would at least give each vine a much better, more qualitatively productive foundation, or foothold, in the Montalcino terroir.”
Kerin O’Keefe (11 2006 p76) says in ‘Montalcino was formed in different geological eras. Younger soils, comprising alluvial deposits from the Quaternary Epoch and clay from marine deposits during the Pliocene Epoch, dominate in the southern lowlands, while further uphill the terrain is mainly clay enriched with calcareous fossil material (Miocene-Oligocene). In the upper part of the territory, the soil is moderately stony, mixed with sand and rich in lime. The well-draining soil here is very old (Cretaceous-Eocene-Jurassic) and can restrain the youthful exuberance of productive grapevines…a prudent clause in the original  production code did specify that vineyards had to be “on land of Eocene origin,” which effectively limited Brunello production to the higher altitudes and most suitable soils. This was later revised, however, to include land up to the Pliocene period, clearing the way for cultivation throughout the entire denomination.’
SOIL PH | Enzo Tiezzi told me on 09th April 2015 that Montalcino has generally alkaline (‘sub-acido’) soils – this is what gives the Sangiove wines their ‘salinità or savoury-salty aspect’.
SUB-ZONES (Frazioni, Toponomi, Vigna) | One ongoing debate in Montalcino revolves around zoning. Single varietal, single village wines such as Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino lend themselves to being benchmarked like Burgundy, according to which ‘zone’ or geographical area or ‘terroir’ the grapes come from, eg. a ‘Torrenieri’ Brunello versus a ‘Tavernelle Brunello. My proposal would also include the ‘Vigna’ or Single Vineyard wines, and ‘Toponimi’. A toponimo is an historically recognized physical location on the map, referring to a farm house, castle, abbey, etc and surrounding land, whose names are now indicated road signs in yellow letters on a brown background. Toponomi are mentioned generically in Montalcino.
My list of named vineyards, sites, places, hamlets, and sub-zones (call them what you will) in Montalcino is as follows | Abbazia di Abbadia Ardenga. / Argiano. / Bosco. / Camigliano. / Canalicchio. / Capanna. / Castelgiocondo. / Castello Altesi. / Castello di Romitorio. / Castelnuovo dell’Abate. / Castiglione dei Boschi. / Il Greppo. / La Casa. / La Velona. / Montosoli. / Passo del Lume Spento. / Pieve Santa Restituta. / Podernuovo. / Poggio alle Mura. / Poggio Civitella. / Sant’Angelo in Colle. / Sant’Angelo Scalo. / Sesta. / Spuntali. / Tavernelle. / Torrenieri. /
ZONING, ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST
Brunello di Montalcino is made 100% from a single, site-sensitive grape, as red Burgundy is made from the equally site-sensitive Pinot Noir. Unlike Burgundy, whose two most famous wines from Pinot Noir or Chardonnay are classified according to a (notional) quality system of Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Villages and generic Burgundy, currently Brunello is always a Villages wine, Brunello from the town of (‘di’) Montalcino. Some Brunello producers would like to be able to label wines which come from a particular sub-zone with the name of that particular terroir. They argue that this will benefit the region in the long run because it will encourage wine-growers to understand better their individual terroirs (soils, mesclimate, drainage, ripening profile) given that there are clearly substantial differences between the various sub-zones.
Apart from the soil, great differences also exist in terms of altitude and climatic conditions. The northern side of Montalcino is said to produce lighter, more perfumed Sangiovese compared to southern Montalcino whose wines are said to have more more power. But vineyard altitudes can vary by 400 metres (1,321 feet), creating significant temperature differences between day and night in certain areas. Rainfall is not the same in the different sub-zones, nor is the speed at which water evaporates from the soil or from the vine leaves, particularly in dry vintages.
A detailed mapping of all the vineyards of the Municipality of Montalcino would increase the recognition of Montalcino’s many and different “terroirs” and could help show how varied and interesting the territory is. The more generalist status quo lumps together areas within which are substantial differences, and focus more on soil and ignore the effects of altitude, for example.
The arguments against zoning are that many producers blend wine from different subzones, but in this case such wines would continue to be labelled as they are now, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. Another fear is that those considered to be on ‘lesser’ soils or sites might in some way be penalised.
ZONING, POSSIBLE CRITERIA FOR | Altitude. Aspect. Average temperature. Precipitation. Slope. Soil composition. Sunshine hours.
ZONING, POSSIBLE QUALITY RATING FOR | An official quality rating, meaning dividing the region up along the Burgundy model of Grand cru, Premier cru and the extant Villages (‘Brunello di Montalcino) is a non-starter politically, and anyway the perception of quality is often decided by the pricing of the wines in the market.
NON-WINE CROPS IN MONTALCINO | Magrini (2003, p23) says the main non-wine crops are sowable crops (‘seminativo’), pastures and other crops (orchards, mainly plums, especially in the Ombrone valley) with 36% of Montalcino’s cultivatable area, plus olives (8%), and wine (11%), of which 55% is enrolled in the Brunello registry.
The commune of Montalcino comprises 24,000 hectares of land. Of this, 3,500 hectares (acres) or 15% of Montalcino’s surface is vineyard, whilst around 50% is wild and given to forest (holm oak, chestnut), Mediterranean marshes, and native grassland. More of the commune is given to woodland (see immediately below) now than in the 1800s when 50% of Montalcino’s surface area was cultivated. The thickest woodland is found on Montalcino’s western side. Apart from holm and other species of oak, other types of trees include sweet chestnut and manna or flowering ash, arbutus or strawberry tree (‘corbezzolo‘), mastic tree or lentisc, and in lower areas bramble rose, broom, myrtle and juniper, and flora used to low levels of rainfall. Also found: Iris (‘giaggiolo’) or Iris x germanica, Prickly Pear (‘ficodindia’ or ‘ficio d’India) or Opuntia ficus-indica, wild or dog rose (‘rosa selvatica’, ‘rosa canina’) or Rosa canina. (Magrini 2003, p27).
FAUNA | Hedgehogs, badgers, porcupines, beech martens, weasels, foxes, and grey wolves. Birds include owls, owlets, barn owls, tawny owls, and buzzards (looking for rabbits, hares, frogs, field mice, pheasant and partridge. Other birds include the harrier eagle, hen harrier, windhover, nuthatch, falcon, green woodpecker, imperial crow, wryneck, and sparrow. The thrush (‘tordo’) is emblematic of Montalcino, which celebrates a festival in its honour, but the bird has almost disappeared due to over hunting (exacerbated by the fact the thrush is a solitary bird). Starlings have suffered less, because the organise into flocks complete with a guard roster. Wild boar and roebuck is also prevalent despite being hunted.
POPULATION | See Comune di Montalcino.
TYPES OF WINE PRODUCER | 1) Those who have been living in and making wine from the 19th-century (eg. Biondi-Santi). 2) Those who arrived in the early to mid-20th-century (eg outsiders like Tenute Silvio Nardi in the 1950s). 3) Former (local) sharecroppers from the 1960s onwards, when the Brunello producers’ consortium was founded. 4) Outsiders from other areas of Italy who arrived in the 1970s and 1980s. 5) Those who started winegrowing in the late 1990s, the last time during which Montalcino’s land registry permitted more land to be registered for wine-growing.
VINEYARD AREA AND INTERNATIONAL MARKETS
1997 1,203 hectares (2,971 acres) of Brunello producing 3.2 million bottles.
2017 Montalcino had around 3,500 hectares (8,650 acres) of vines, of which 2,100 hectares (5,187 acres) of Brunello, 500 hectares (1,235 acres) of Rosso di Montalcino and 500 hectares (1,235 acres) of Sant’Antimo DOC. Total production of 9 million bottles. 70% is exported. The main market is the USA with 30% of volume, Europe (including Switzerland) also with 30%, and Canada with 12%.
AVERAGE VINEYARD HOLDINGS | According to Kerin O’Keefe (2012, p.247) sixty-six per cent of Brunello estates possess 5 hectares (12 acres) or less, with 22% having less than one hectare (2.47 acres).
VINTAGES IN MONTALCINO | See Montalcino Vintages.
VINE DENSITY | From 2016 the proposed minimum vine density at replanting was raised from 3,000 vines per hectare (vines per acre) to 4,000 vines per hectare (vines per acre).
YIELDS FOR BRUNELLO | Yields are set at 8 tonnes per hectare (3.24 tonnes per acre) maximum for Brunello. Vineyards registered for Brunello may also produce Rosso, but not the other way around; and the Brunello vineyard can only yield the production maxima for Brunello even if the wine is destined for Rosso. Single vineyard wines (‘Vigna’, ‘Vigneto’) were reduced to 7 tonnes per hectare (2.83 tonnes per acre) for Brunello and 8 tonnes per hectare (3.24 tonnes per acre) for Rosso from 2016.
WINERIES IN MONTALCINO
Montalcino has around 250 wineries, of which in early 2018 around one fifth were certified organic or Biodynamic, including three of the largest five estates, namely Castelgiocondo, Col d’Orcia, and Camigliano (Banfi and Il Poggione being the conventional outliers).
CERTIFIED ORGANIC | Alejandro Bulgheroni Family Vineyards. / Bolsignano. / Camigliano. / Campi di Fonterenza. / Casa Raia. / Casato Prime Donne. / Castelgiocondo. / Cava d’Onice. / Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona. / Col d’Orcia. / Col di Lamo. / Collelceto. / Collemattoni. / Cordella. / Cupano. / Fornacella. / Fornacina. / Franci. / Il Cocco. / Il Paradiso di Frassina. / La Magia. / La Melina. / La Palazzetta. / La Rasina. / La Serena. / Le Chiuse. / Le Macioche Famiglia Cotarella. / Le Ragnaie. / Loacker Corte Pavone. / Piancornello. / Piombaia. / Podere Brizio. / Podere Le Ripi. / Poggio di Sotto. / Poggio Landi. / Renieri. / Salicutti. / San Polino. / San Polo. / Sanlorenzo. / Santa Maria. / Sassodisole. / Tassi. / Tenuta San Giorgio. / Terralsole.
NO CERTIFICATION | Agostina Pieri. / Agricola Centolani, Tenuta Friggiali e Pietranera. / Albatreti. / Altesino. / Armilla. / Azienda Agricola Molinari Carlo di Marisa Colombo. / Baccinetti. / Baricci. / Bellarina. / Bucine. / Campogiovanni. / Canalicchio di Sopra (Ripaccioli). / Canalicchio-Franco Pacenti. / Caparzo. / Caprili. / Casanova di Neri. / Casisano Colombaio. / Castelgiocondo. / Centolani. / Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona. / Corte dei Venti. /Fattoria dei Barbi. / Fattoria del Pino di Jessica Pellegrini. / Il Bosco di Grazia. / Il Marroneto. / Il Palazzone. / Il Paradiso di Manfredi. / La Lecciaia. / La Mannella. / La Poderina. / La Torre. / La Velona. / Lazzeretti. / Lisini. / Mastrojanni. / Mocali. / Molino della Suga. / NostraVita. / Paradisone-Colli degli Angeli. / Pian delle Querci. / Pian delle Vigne. / Pietroso. / Podere Martoccia. / Podere Paganico. / Podere Scopetone. / Poggio Antico. / Ridolfi. / SantaGiulia. / Sesta di Sopra. / Siro Pacenti. / Tenuta Crocedimezzo. / Tenuta La Fuga. / Tenuta Crocedimezzo. / Tenuta San Giorgio. / Tenute Silvio Nardi. / Tornesi. / Uccelliera. / Val di Suga. / Vasco Sassetti. / Verbena. / Villa ai Tolli.
Guelfo Magrini (2003) ‘Brunello di Montalcino’ by Guelfo Magrini (Morganti Editori, 2003), English edition.
Kerin O’Keefe (2012) ‘Brunello di Montalcino’ by Kerin O’Keefe (University of California Press, 2012).
Kerin O’Keefe (2006 11) ‘Brunello’s moment of truth’ by Kerin O’Keefe, World of Fine Wine 11 2006.