Nobile di Montepulciano is the famous wine of this city. The same grape is used as for the Chianti wine, but because Montepulciano vineyards have other soil, this wine is lively and more firm. After harvest, the wine is riping in oak barrels for some years before it is ready for consumption.
Production is still in the hands of the noblesse of Montepulciano.There are a couple of wine cellars that you can visit.
"Famous for its Vino Nobile"
I went to Montepulciano with 3 good friends in October 2006. We drove there in their car and we passed through some of the best scenery in Tuscany before we reach Montepulciano town.
Montepulciano is an interesting town. It is part of a commune in the province of Siena, in Central Tuscany (Italy) on a high limestone ridge. It was built on top of a hill, 605 m (around 2000 ft) above sea level. By car it is 13 km (8 miles) East of Pienza; 67 km (40 miles) South-east of Siena; 124 km (74 miles) South-east of Florence and 186 km (115 miles) North of Rome.
The town is encircled by walls and fortifications designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder in 1511 for Cosimo I. Inside the walls, the streets are crammed with shops, Renaissance-style palazzi and churches, but the town is chiefly known for its good local Vino Nobile wines.
Montepulciano has many wine shops, (local name is enoteca or cantina) offering the chance to taste the local wine "Nobile di Montepulciano", as well as, to have a traditional Tuscan "colazione" or "merenda" (breakfast) with local products: pecorino cheese, salami, crostini or bruschetta.
"Nice to Explore"
A long, winding street called the Corso climbs up into the main square, Piazza Grande, which crowns the summit of the hill.
Piazza Grande is the real monumental center of Montepulciano and hosts the "Palazzo Comunale" (Town hall) 15th century, with a big tower from which it is possible to admire the view of the village of Radicofani, the Orcia Valleys and Lake Trasimeno, and the Duomo, the Cathedral of Montepulciano which is a stately building by Ippolito Scalza, (1592-1630).
Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink. Its wines (especially the famous Vino Nobile) are drunk throughout the world, and it also sells pork products, cheese, "pici" pasta (a thick, rough, chewy variant on spaghetti) and honey.
To reach Montepulciano take the A1 motorway to the Val di Chiana exit and follow the signs. You will arrive under the walls; to the right of the Agip station is a free parking lot.
"A Cat in a Window"
While we were walking along the long winding alleys, we saw this beautiful golden cat in a window.
It was quietly and serenely watching the world go by its window. It didn't even run away when we got closer, patted it, and took a few photos. It was very tame and friendly; Seemed that it was used to being stared at, touched, having its photos taken by passing tourists. After about 10 - 15 minutes, it gave us a cool look and then bounced back into its house.