Like brunello di Montalcino and Chianti, Vino Nobile is made primarily from its own clone of sangiovese, this one called prugnolo (the word means little prune, a reference to the prunelike shape, color and aroma of the grapes). Often the grapes are blended with a small amount of canaiolo, malvasia and/or trebbiano.

The vineyards of Montepluciano ring the city of Siena, near the southern end of the Valley of Chiana. Curiously enough, Chiana may partly explain Vino Nobile’s prestige. The valley is famous for a special breed of white cattle, Chianina, which is the source of Tuscany’s renowned specialty; mammoth T-bone steaks called bistecca alla fiorentina. Maybe the perfection of the steaks led people to assume that the accompanying wine had to be pretty incredible, too.

Montepluciano’s vineyards are planted on broad open slopes. At about 600 feet above sea level, they stand at less than half the altitude of the brunello di Montalcino vineyards. The soil is mostly sandy clay. By law, the wines must be aged for two years in wood; riservas must be aged for three years.

Vino Nobile di Montepluciano was granted DOCG status in 1980. Avignonesi, Poderi Boscarelli and Terre di Bindella are among the best producers.

(quoted from the Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil)

vino nobile