Written by: Catherine Sabino
As seen in: Forbes
Of Italy’s many tempting wine regions, those devoted to producing its legendary crus are essential stops for oenophiles wanting to sample the marvels of a celebrated DOCG territory at the source. Brunello di Montalcino, which like its powerhouse counterpart in Piedmont, Barolo, has been dubbed the “king of wine” (although they rely on different grapes; the former sangiovese, the latter nebbiolo), is harvested in the flowing hills around the town of Montalcino, south of Siena. It is a part of Tuscany that provides some of the most mesmerizing landscapes in the country.
The pandemic, has, of course, put a hold on enotourism throughout the world, but fans of the wine can plan for a future trip to Montalcino. [Check the latest travel restrictions and requirements with Italy’s Ministero della Salute and the U.S. Embassy in Rome.] See the recommendations below from those in the know—top Brunello vintners* (representing three of the 13 area wineries owned and led by women)—to make the most of your next visit there. Brunello devotees should also note the upcoming Finally Brunello, June 14-20, in New York, a week when they’ll be able to sample a range of vintages at some 40 restaurants highlighting the wine with special tastings, pairings and menus.
A decade ago, American-born Natalie Oliveros began investing in La Fiorita, founded in 1992 by Roberto Cipresso, a noted Italian winemaker, and became owner of the estate several years later. With business partner Louis Camilleri, former CEO of Ferrari, Oliveros expanded the property so that it now spans four vineyards over nine hectares and includes a smart new cantina. Oliveros says her most emotional vintage was 2014, one that was “extremely complicated due to the rain, but we were able to pull a wine that had very little flaws.” Indeed, Wine Enthusiast gave it a 93/100 rating. Since taking over La Fiorita, Oliveros debuted a new Brunello, Fiore di NO, and a rosé, called Ninfalia. La Fiorita’s 2015 Brunello earned a 95 score from wine critic James Suckling.
*Caparzo, Le Chiuse and La Fiorita will participate in Finally Brunello in New York. Cellar visits can be arranged by contacting each winery directly. For more information about Brunello di Montalcino, go to Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino.