The Wines of Siena: A Guide to the Best Wines of the Region

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The province of Siena, located in the heart of Tuscany, is renowned not only for its history, art, and breathtaking landscapes but also for its fine wines. The winemaking tradition of this region is ancient and rich, and the wines of Siena are appreciated worldwide for their quality and unique character. In this guide, we will explore some of the best wines from the Siena area, from the renowned DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) denominations to lesser-known but equally delightful labels.

Brunello di Montalcino

One of the most prestigious wines from the province of Siena is undoubtedly Brunello di Montalcino. This red wine, produced exclusively in the Montalcino area, is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes, locally known as Brunello. The Brunello di Montalcino DOCG designation was established in 1980, but the wine’s history dates back to the 19th century.

Brunello di Montalcino is known for its complexity and longevity. After fermentation, the wine must age for at least five years, including at least two years in oak barrels. This long aging period gives the wine a robust structure and intense aromas of red fruits, spices, tobacco, and leather. On the palate, Brunello di Montalcino offers a perfect balance of tannins, acidity, and alcohol, making it ideal for long-term bottle aging.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Another major player in Sienese winemaking is Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. This red wine also has a DOCG designation and is primarily produced with Sangiovese grapes (locally known as Prugnolo Gentile), with the addition of other native varieties like Canaiolo Nero and Mammolo.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is distinguished by its full body and complex aromas of cherry, plum, violet, and spicy notes. The wine ages for at least two years, with one year in oak barrels, further developing its depth and finesse. This wine pairs perfectly with traditional Tuscan dishes like bistecca alla fiorentina, wild boar stew, and aged cheeses.

Chianti Colli Senesi

Chianti Colli Senesi is one of the subzones of the Chianti region, one of Italy’s most famous wine regions. This DOCG red wine is mainly produced with Sangiovese grapes, but can also include other varieties like Canaiolo, Colorino, and small amounts of white grapes like Trebbiano and Malvasia.

Chianti Colli Senesi is known for its freshness and versatility. It has a bright ruby red color and offers aromas of fresh red fruits, violet, and a slight hint of earth. On the palate, it is typically dry, with soft tannins and good acidity, making it an extremely drinkable wine. It pairs well with pasta with ragù, grilled meats, and Tuscan appetizers like crostini and cured meats.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Moving on to white wines, Vernaccia di San Gimignano is one of the gems of Sienese viticulture. This DOCG white wine is produced in the area of San Gimignano, a town famous for its medieval towers. Vernaccia di San Gimignano is made primarily from the Vernaccia grape, which has been growing on the hills of San Gimignano since the 13th century.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano is characterized by a straw-yellow color with golden highlights. On the nose, it offers fresh and fruity aromas of apple, pear, and citrus, with a slight hint of almond. On the palate, it is dry and mineral, with good acidity and pleasant persistence. This wine is perfect as an aperitif or paired with fish dishes, shellfish, and fresh cheeses.

Rosso di Montalcino

Rosso di Montalcino is often considered the “younger brother” of Brunello di Montalcino, but it certainly deserves mention among the best wines of the area. This DOC wine is also made with Sangiovese grapes but has a shorter aging period compared to Brunello, making it fresher and more accessible.

Rosso di Montalcino has a ruby red color and offers aromas of fresh red fruits, such as cherry and raspberry, accompanied by floral and spicy notes. On the palate, it is well-balanced, with soft tannins and good structure. It is a versatile wine that pairs well with a variety of dishes, from flavorful pasta to white and red meats.

Super Tuscans

In recent decades, Tuscany has seen the emergence of a category of wines known as “Super Tuscans.” These wines do not necessarily follow traditional DOC or DOCG designations but are produced with great care and often combine international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah with native grapes.

Among the Super Tuscans produced in the province of Siena, one of the most famous is Tignanello, created by the Antinori family. This wine is primarily based on Sangiovese, with additions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Tignanello is known for its complexity and elegance, with intense aromas of dark fruits, tobacco, chocolate, and sweet spices. On the palate, it is structured and persistent, with soft tannins and a long finish.

Wineries to Visit

Visiting the wineries in the province of Siena is a must for wine lovers. Each winery has its unique story and offers the chance to taste wines directly at the source. Among the most renowned wineries to visit are Biondi Santi, pioneers of Brunello di Montalcino, Avignonesi, known for its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Fèlsina, famous for its Chianti Classico.

Many of these wineries offer guided tours that include visits to the vineyards, aging cellars, and tasting rooms. It’s a unique opportunity to learn about the winemaking process up close and appreciate the art and passion behind every bottle.

Wine Events and Festivals

The province of Siena hosts numerous wine events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating the region’s rich winemaking tradition. One of the most important events is the “Settimana del Vino” (Wine Week) in Montalcino, held every September. This event offers Brunello di Montalcino tastings, seminars, and guided tours of the wineries.

In Montepulciano, the “Festa del Vino Nobile” (Nobile Wine Festival) is another must-attend event, where you can taste local wines and discover the ancient underground cellars of the historic center. San Gimignano also organizes events dedicated to Vernaccia, where you can participate in tastings and gastronomic pairings.

Albergo Minerva: Your Starting Point for Exploring the Wines of Siena

If you wish to explore the best wines of the province of Siena, Albergo Minerva is the ideal starting point. Located in the heart of Siena, Albergo Minerva offers warm hospitality and all the comforts necessary for an unforgettable stay. Its spacious and well-furnished rooms are the perfect place to relax after a day of wine tastings and winery visits.

At Albergo Minerva, the staff will be delighted to provide you with all the information needed to organize your winery visits and suggest the best food and wine itineraries. Thanks to its central location, you will be just a few steps away from Siena’s main attractions and can easily reach the renowned wine regions of the province.

Book your vacation now by clicking on the top right and get ready to experience a unique adventure among the wonderful wines of Siena. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wine culture of Tuscany and discover the secrets that make the wines of this region so special.

The wines of Siena represent an invaluable heritage, the result of centuries of tradition and passion. From the hills of Montalcino to the valleys of Montepulciano, each bottle tells a story of territory, climate, and expertise. Plan your visit and let yourself be fascinated by the variety and quality of Siena’s wines.

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