Wine & Travel

Snooth User: Middletucky

Advice for Visit to Montalcino - Siena?

Posted by Middletucky, Mar 14, 2010.

We are going with family to Tuscany this Fall (Montalcino-Seina) and would very much appreciate any advice for visiting or touring wineries/vineyards in the region.  We will only have a day or two.  Any can't-miss destinations?


Reply by Terrea123, Mar 14, 2010.

A day or two is really squeezing it. There are a lot of fabulous wineries in this region and if you've never been to Siena or San Gimignano they are both amazing medieval cities!

If you have your heart set on visiting a winery, it's best to speak with the concierge where you are staying and have them set up an appointment for you in advance (they usually have connections) or attempt to book a tasting with a winery prior to going. You can never be sure whether they will be's pretty hit and miss.

Wine tasting in Italy is not like in the U.S. You don't go from winery to winery tasting here and there. It will take minimum half a day for one winery because they will give you a complete tour and then to their tasting room for a tasting.   Anything otherwise would be absolutely rude. It's best to plan one day for one winery. 


Reply by Middletucky, Mar 14, 2010.

Thanks Terrea123!  We'll be in the area for seven or eight days, but only want to spend a couple days visiting wineries.

Good idea on the concierge.  We're staying at a rented villa, and I bet the owner of the villa has some connections.

Reply by anderg77, Mar 14, 2010.

I lived in Siena for three months at the end of the nineties. One of the best summers I have ever had. It is a stunningly beautiful, serene place.

I never did visit any wineries while there but I can recommend Brunello di Montalcino and the lesser known Morellino di Scansano as two Sangiovese based bold fruity reds from the region. Oh, and don't miss out on a type of pasta called "pici" (sounds like "peachy") which is the speciality of Siena.

Have fun!


Reply by yseevictoria, Mar 14, 2010.

2 wineries : Abbadia Ardenga wine brunello di montalcino Direction and cellar: Via Romana 139 53024 Torrenieri (Montalcino Italy) Phone & fax + 0039 ( 0 ) 577 834150

Crociani : Azienda agricola Crociani, Via del poliziano 15, 53045 Montepulciano (Siena) Italia

You can if you wish stay at their winery Susana is an exceptional wine maker. 

Those are two wonderful and well regarded wineries.

and then you can enjoy Siena to its fullest.

Have Happy Wine   and food moments Cheers


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Mar 16, 2010.

there is not much here but it's worth checking out this report from my visit in November, with notes about Montalcino and Siena.

Reply by amour, Mar 16, 2010.

Between my friend Frances Mayes, writer of Under the Tuscan Sun,

(which has been made into a film of the same name) and Nigel Foxell,  a

former JULES VERNE tourguide for TUSCANY, I combed the enchanting area several times.

But, I am no lover of Italian wines as such......Love the opera, the arias, and the music gives me goose-pimples!

However, please bring home at least 2 bottles of ARGIANO BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO  2004  (Sangiovese).

This wine was made entirely by oenologist Hans Vinding-Diers

at Argiano and represents a stylistic difference to the norm, which I definitely welcome!

He has used lower temperatures in the fermentation process

and the result is true elegance!

Witness amazing and detailed aromatics as perfumed layers of sweet ripe fruit unfold gently.  Lay a bottle down for another 5 years.

And CONGRATULATIONS on your choice of such a romantic destination indeed!!


Reply by amour, Mar 16, 2010.

As I said before, my dear friend Nigel Foxell was the Jules Verne

Tour Guide for TUSCANY.

And between him and my friend Frances Mayes writer of Under the Tuscan Sun, (which was made into a film of the same name),

I combed the enchanting area several times.

Congratulations on booking such a special trip.

I am no big lover of things italian andthough I love the music and opera very much, I could not say the same about the wines.

However, if you bring home a bottle, let it be


SANGIOVESE   made entirely  by Winemaker/oenologist

Hans Vinding-Diers at Argiano.

You are sure to appreciate the amazing detailed aromatics of this elegant wine. Witness perfumed layers of the sweetest ripest fruit!

And bring a second bottle for laying down for at least another 5 years.

This is a wine quite stylistically different from the fact, it represents a significant shift and I welcome that change !

Reply by UKbusiness, Mar 21, 2010.

Try the Montagliari - not only lovely wines but a little restaurant that will make the day worht while.  David Montagliari has some wonderful wines in the shop - friend was able to find a lovely '69 that was absolutely devine and a perfect accompaniment for his 40th wedding anniversary.  The farm has been producing wine since 1720.

They have a wonderful farm store with Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva, Brunesco di San Lorenzo (IGT), Grappa, Brandy, Amaro di San Lorenzo, aged Vinsanto, as well as olive oils.

David will make your trip worthwhile - they are located abot half way between Firenza and Siena.

Reply by victorialg, Mar 24, 2010.

Over at, we have Masters of Wine- recommended spots to visit in Montalcino. Check it out:


Enjoy your trip! Sounds wonderful.

Reply by jilliandavis, Mar 24, 2010.

Poggio Antico is a wonderful place for dinner in Montalcino and their wines are, of course, fabulous! But, we had a trip-making experience this fall when we discovered a restaurant called La Chiusa in Montefollonico, a small town west of Montepulciano. Dania Masotti is the diva of the kitchen! Amazing bistecca, porcini - wish I was there! 

Reply by 1781bill, Mar 24, 2010.

Go to Poggio Antico in Montalcino.  A beautiful winery on the top of the mountain and arrange wine tour in advance at their website.  A top restaurant at the winery is great for lunch or dinner.  Arrange to stay in Tuscany for more than two days so you can check out the off the path restaurants in most of the towns.   

Reply by heasom, Mar 24, 2010.

We honeymooned here in 2003. I love the above recommendation for "pici" -- such an amazing Tuscan treat, especially when accompanied by a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino. We stayed in the villa at Salicutti and loved the cellar tour and tasting, but I don't think you can visit the cellar if you're not spending the night. (You may want to check this.) Most of our recommendations at the time came from a book called The Food and Wine Lover's Companion to Tuscany by Carla Capalbo. Definitely worth a read, as the recommendations were spot-on. Have a wonderful time!

Reply by andyboza, Mar 25, 2010.

On December I bought a bottle of "Il Grappolo" Brunello di Montalcino following a recommendation from an Italian friend. It is produced in the town of Sant' Angelo, 30 km from Siena and right in the centre of Tuscany. You may want to contact them to arrange a visit at

Reply by Middletucky, Mar 28, 2010.

Wow.  Thanks everybody!  Can't wait for September!

Reply by wineman14, Apr 6, 2010.

 With only 2 days n Tuscany suggest you divide the 2 days as follows one day in the Chianti region, the other in Montalcino and Montipliciano ( these 2 areas are connected like 2 adjacent towns).

In Chianti drink/buy the Riserva class or DCOG certified wines says this on the label by the cork.  If you start your day @ Noon you can go until sunset.  You don't have to take the tour at each winery. Everyone makes wine the same way.  Yes some do a variety of Blends but by just tasting you will know what you like.  Thats the fun of it.  By eliminating the tours you can easily visit between 6-10/day.

This is what I did I rented a car in Florence drove to the town/village of Chianti in the heart of Tuscany. Before leaving I bought Bread, cheese, Prosciuto, and H2O.  You will want to absorb the alcohol after visiting 4-5 wineyards.  You will find surrounding towns of Greve, Radda, etc. I believe all north of Siena.  If you Google the region and wineries you will find printable maps that will help you make choices before you take the plunge.  I liked Castello D'albola.  In Montalcino visit and taste Altesino.  The best part and the most fun is when you drive around you see a sign displaying a bunch of grapes with words Azienda Agricola.  These signs are all along the roads.  If you follow them they will take you small single owner/Vintner vineyards (most family owned for centuries) that make their own wine that we never get to see or taste.  It never leaves Italy!  These are not big commercial operations.  These are some of the finest inexpensive wines of the region in both Chianti and Montalcino, true hiden treasures! In some cases you will drive maybe 4-5 miles before you find it just be patient and stay on the road they love it when you visit=they get to sell you their wine.  You will also be able to sample there own home grown, harvested and bottled EVOO at almost all of these vineyards.  They are proud to offer you tastes in hope you will buy some also.  And Buy you should.  I hope you know you are allowed to take home in your luggage 3-4 bottles/person.  Buy yourself some bubble wrap. Wrap your wine and EVOO and pack it among your clothes to enjoy when you back to the USA.  Enjoy your trip.  Salute!  I'm jealous and thirsty!

Reply by samcat0102, May 18, 2010.

Visited the area two years ago - honestly, I would pick one winery and get an appointment to visit.. then I would spend more time in the town trying wines at the local shops and restaurants - buy some at the local stores and take back to your hotel or villa -  winery tours here aren't quite the same IMO as in the US, esp. california if that is what your thinking...  but agree with taking some brunello home if u can.. i bought two bottles in a box - box went right in my suitcase (take less clothes to bring home more wine!)  - drank the wine and have the box as a 'souvy'... 

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