We passed this sign nearly every day for two weeks, thinking that there must be occasional concerts at this specific winery. It turns out that Paradiso is doing an experiment with Bose. They have placed Bose speakers throughout the vineyards. Apparently they think that if they blast Mozart music out over the vines while the grapes are ripening it will improve the quality of the grapes.
We drove up the steep gravel road to the vines to take a look. Sure enough the speakers are everywhere. But on this afternoon they were silent.
Later we talked to Lorenzo, the winemaker at Le Chiuse and he said that he plays music while the wine is in the oak casks. The vibration, he claims, helps the development of the wine.
Hmmm, Italian vintners.
Montalcino is known for being the place that one of Italy's finest (and most expensive) wines is produced - Brunello di Montalcino. Brunello must not be released until at least 5 years after harvest, and is aged in both barrel and bottle.
Also produced is Rosso di Montalcino, which is made from grapes that are not good enough to be used for Brunello. This wine does not have any ageing restrictions, and although not to the level of the Brunello, it is still pretty tasty, and a lot cheaper.
Wine can be tasted and purchased all over Montalcino - there are numerous wine shops to browse and taste in, the largest of these is the Enoteca La Fortezza. Here you can buy and taste around 130 types of Brunello and many more other wines. Wines can be shipped for you all over the world.
Once a year there is a mountainbike competition in Montalcino. It's on a Sunday during September. (2005: 4 September). The interesting thing about it for a tourist is that you can have free lunch in the fortress.
Chairs and tables are put on the courtyard of the castle and there are stands where you can get free wine, pasta, salade and cakes. It was all homemade and delicious.