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Private Montalcino & Brunello Wine Tour
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Pick up at your Hotel, more details at booking
Your driver will meet you at your hotel to take you on your full day excursion to the medieval town of Montalcino, travelling through the land that produces the fine Brunello wine.
You will be driven via Brunello Road, then through the dusty and narrow wandering roads that disappear from view amidst the meandering clay hills of Siena. Old farmhouses surrounded by ancient Cyprus trees stand as a testimonial to an agricultural past. Before arriving to Montalcino, you will make a brief stop to visit the Siena Clay Hills, a strange moon-like landscape that is the subject of many photos and artworks in Tuscany.
Continue to the Abbey of Sant’Antimo, an impressive monastery whose true origins are wrapped in mystery. Discover its fascinating architecture and religious treasures, and even assist with the Gregorian Melodies. Get back to your driver to finally reach Montalcino, a charming fortified hilltop town best known for its medieval architecture and production of the prestigious Brunello wine. This wine is a medium bodied dark red with a fruity aroma and dark, peppery notes. You will have the opportunity to visit one of Montalcino’s famous wineries where you will enjoy a wine tasting accompanied by local cheeses and cold cuts.
– Round trip transportation with private car
– Expert English speaking driver and guide
– Visit of Abbey of St Antimo
– Visit of Montalcino
– Wine Tasting and snack in a local wine estate
-Wine tasting of Brunello wine, Altero wine and Madre wine
– Val d’Orcia
– Abbey of St Antimo
– Visit of local Brunello vineyard and cellars
– Brunello wine tasting and other two local wines
– Confirmation will be received at time of booking
– Voucher and detailed operator information, including local emergency numbers will be received three weeks before the date of your tour.
– Adult pricing applies to all travelers.
– The dress code for men and women is strictly enforced in Churches. No shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts.
Pick-up at your accommodation
Drop-off at your Accommodation
Abbey of Sant’Antimo
Located just a few miles from Montalcino is a large and mysterious building whose true origins are still obscure today. The Abbey of Sant'Antimo is believed to have been built some time during Late Antiquity, with the earliest document confirming its existence dating from the 800s. The current church was actually built in the early 12th century at the bequest of Count Bernardo degli Ardengheschi.
The church quickly became one of the biggest powers in the area, having authority over 38 local churches and owning several hundreds of acres of farmland throughout Tuscany; the church even had control of the Castle of Montalcino, which both protected the area and housed the abbot. The abbey began to decline a century later, due primarily to Siena’s aggressive expansionism and the loss of much of its territory, including Montalcino. The abbey’s decline continued into the 15th century, despite the Church’s attempts at reviving it; it was completely abandoned and left to decay until the 19th century, eventually getting restored in the 1870s. Today, the abbey has resumed function and houses a new religious community of Canons Regular of the Order of Premontre.
Things to see
The building is Carolingian in architecture, with French and Italian influences throughout. Some of the most notable highlights are the frescoes by Giovanni d’Asciano, the French-inspired groin vaulted ambulatory, the crypt and, above all, the capital with Daniel and the Lions.
Siena Clay hills
Just south of Siena is a particular area called the Crete Senesi, or Sienese Clay Hills. This range of hills is composed of grey clay which gives the landscape an odd, moon-like appearance, broken only by a few lonely cypress and oak trees, and a few isolated farms.
The sediments of clay date back to the Pliocene, when the area was covered by sea between 2.5 and 4.5 million years ago. Now, the area is a gorgeous touristic attraction that is also famous for its production of the rare white truffle.
Things to see
The closest towns in the area are Asciano, a well preserved medieval village, and San Giovanni d’Asso, a small medieval hamlet guarded by a large castle. Asciano is known for its Etruscan Museum, housed in the Gothic Church of San Bernardino, as well as the Romanesque Basilica of Sant’Agata, which houses the Museum of Sacred Art and the Archeological Museum. The impressive castle that overlooks the hills around San Giovanni d’Asso houses the Truffle Museum, and is also the home of a festival that celebrates the history and harvest of the local truffles.
Not far from Siena is another, smaller medieval hilltop town by the name of Montalcino, famous above all for its production of Brunello wine.
Like most of the towns in the area, Montalcino was originally an Etruscan settlement that remained relatively small until a sudden population growth in the 10th century. In the middle ages, Montalcino gained some importance due to its location on Via Frencigena, an ancient and important Roman road, as well as its production of quality leather goods. The 14th to 16th centuries were tumultuous, with the town getting caught between the warring Florence and Siena, as well as the various battles between the local noble families. Montalcino was eventually conquered by the Florentine Republic in the mid 16th century and remained under their control until the unification of Italy. Today, Montalcino is very well known for its production of Brunello wine, made from the Sangiovese Grosso grapes that are cultivated in the area surrounding the town.
Things to see
Aside from its delicious wine, Montalcino also offers some fascinating sights such as the medieval Fortress that dominates the highest point in town and offers a stunning panorama from its towers. There is also the Church of Sant’Agostino, an imposing Gothic style religious structure from the 13th century, and whose beautiful cloisters were later added in the 15th century. Finally, a little outside of the town is large and mysterious Abbey of Sant’Antimo, whose true origins are still obscure today.
Made from the Brunello clone of the Sangiovese grape, these red wines are among the most complex and rich expressions of Sangiovese. The soils in these hillside vineyards yield robust, voluptuous wines with great depth and aging potential. Notes of leather, earth, plums, and spices are typical. Brunello is the most tannic and the most potentially age-worthy expression of Sangiovese. Rosso di Montalcino, however, is a much more approachable red. Rosso is what Italians drink while they wait for their Brunello to mature.