Orcia DOC in Tuscany dates from 2000 and covers red, pink and dry white wines, plus Vin Santo. The production zone covers the hilly area either side of the Orcia river basin in Siena province in south-west Tuscany. Orcia DOC’s production zone is bordered by Montalcino to the west and Montepulciano (of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG fame) to the east. On 02nd July 2004 the Orcia Valley became a UNESCO world heritage site, the first rural zone to gain such recognition. Orcia’s unspoiled landscape comprising medieval villages, forests, fields, vineyards, and wide horizons with evocative light has made it a popular backdrop for makers of both TV and feature films. This follows the artists of the Renaissance Senese School (13th-15th centuries) who depicted the Orcia Valley’s countryside as an archetype of nature and farming could co-exists in harmony.
Production zone: Until 2000 Orcia was an IGT comprising just three communes, namely Pienza, San Quirico d’Orcia and Castiglione d’Orcia, all three of which bordered Montalcino to the west, whose 100% Sangiovese wines had been the inspiration for the man behind the IGT’s creation, Professor Remo Rossi of the Castello di Ripa d’Orcia winery in Castiglione d’Orcia. When Orcia was promoted to DOC status in 2000 the production area was allowed to encompass an enlarged zone of 13 communes (now 12, San Giovanni d’Asso having been subsumed into Montalcino). It also imposed a minimum of only 60% for Sangiovese for red wines. This has since been raised to 90% for wines labelled Orcia Sangiovese DOC. As all 12 of Orcia DOC’s communes are within the province of Siena it means Orcia’s red wine producers can also make Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG.
Communes (12): Abbadia San Salvatore (SI).* | Buonconvento (SI). | Castiglione d’Orcia (SI). | Chianciano Terme (SI).* | Montalcino (SI).* | Pienza (SI). | Radicofani (SI). | San Casciano dei Bagni (SI).* | San Giovanni d’Asso (now part of Montalcino). | San Quirico d’Orcia (SI). | Sarteano (SI).* | Torrita di Siena (SI).* | Trequanda (SI). * = only part of the commune qualifies for this DOC.
Orcia DOC vintages: 2010.
Orcia DOC Bianco: 50-100% Trebbiano Toscano, 0-50% any non-aromatic white grape allowed in the region of Tuscany. On sale from March 01st following the harvest (this means varietally labelled white wines are not permitted).
Orcia DOC Rosato: 60-100% Sangiovese, 0-40% any non-aromatic red grape allowed in the region of Tuscany.
Orcia DOC Rosso: 60-100% Sangiovese, 0-40% any non-aromatic red grape allowed in the region of Tuscany.
Orcia DOC Rosso Riserva: As Orcia Rosso above, but subject to 24 months’ ageing of which at least 12 months in oak.
Orcia DOC Rosso Sangiovese: 90-100% Sangiovese, 0-10% Canaiolo Nero, Colorino, Ciliegiolo, Foglia Tonda, Pugnitello or Malvasia Nera.
Orcia DOC Rosso Sangiovese Riserva: As Orcia Sangiovese above, but subject to 30 months’ ageing of which at least 24 months in oak.
Orcia DOC Vin Santo: 50-100% Trebbiano Toscano, 0-50% any non-aromatic white grape allowed in the region of Tuscany. The grapes must be left to dry between at least 01 December and 31st March of the following year. The wines must age at least three years in the traditional small barrels (‘caratelli’) before sale.
Certified Biodynamic: Podere Forte.
Certified organic, Biodynamic practices: