Maitré and Sommelier at the ADLER Spa Resort Thermae
Alliance Vinum – winemakers on a mission
Last February, at the yearly Preview of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano event, I had the privilege of tasting six exquisite Vini Nobili – wines made exclusively from Sangiovese grapes.
It all started with the Alliance Vinum, an association formed by six of the most renowned wineries in the Tuscan area of Montepulciano with the aim of preserving, honing and promoting the quality of their wine.
The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is traditionally produced from the grapes of a specific Sangiovese clone, called Prugnolo Gentile thanks to its delicate plum fragrance. The regulations, however, allow for the main variety to be supplemented with other native red grapes up to 30% and white grapes up to 5%.
Sangiovese at its purest
The six wineries that formed the Alliance (Avignonesi, La Braccesca, Boscarelli, Dei, Poliziano and Salcheto) are all widely recognised for the excellence of their products and have a long and rich tradition. After establishing the Alliance in the spring of 2017, the wineries made it their mission to produce 100% pure Sangiovese wines. The result is a selection of Vino Nobile wines made exclusively from Sangiovese grapes – a variety that best expresses the distinctive character of the Montepulciano area.
Vino Nobile is made unique by two “secret ingredients”: the local soil and the climate. The part-sand, part-clay stratified soil, combined with the mild, moderately windy climate, produces long-lived wines with an enveloping bouquet and perfect balance of alcohol content and acidity, and only minimal adjustment is required during vinification. The winegrowing area is limited to around 1,300 hectares, with only about 250 wine makers, of which only 80 are also bottlers.
An eco-friendly alliance
Montepulciano is a picture-postcard historic village situated just 23km from the ADLER Thermae resort. Perched on a hilltop and surrounded by lush vineyards, it commands marvellous views over the Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana valleys. It comes as no surprise then, that the women and men who gave life to the Alliance are so strongly bonded to their homeland. Their wealth lies in their land. This is why they have embraced sustainable winegrowing and environmentally sound farming. Their biodiversity-conscious biodynamic cultivation methods are paired with cutting-edge wine cellars equipped with geothermal and photovoltaic systems that meet the energy requirements for the whole production process.
The reward is a unique, inimitable wine that embodies the virtuous relationship between its land of origin and the people who live there.