As far back as the Renaissance the Contucci family
were cultivating the grape and by 1700 this activity of
theirs' was much appreciated. In fact they were one of
the "founding fathers" of Vino Nobile, as is
documented in 1773; having a major role in making it
world famous: "a noble wine destined for the table
of gentle folk".
By 1800 the fame of their wine was
demonstrated by numerous medals and testimonials, which
they had won. The building of the Contucci cellars took
place before the mansion of the same name, which was once
inhabited by Pope Giulio III and the by the Grand Duke
Ferdinand I. The mansion was built by Antonio Sangallo
the older and painted internally with affrescoes by
Andrea Pozzo. One can therefore say that both house and
cellars were built in the XIII century and were part of
the old inner walls of Montepulciano.
| The farm estate is 170 ettari in size, of which 21
ettari are vinyards, 15 devoted to Vino Nobile, whilst
the others are used for the production of Rosso di
Montepulciano, Bianco della Contessa, Il Sansovino and
Vin Santo. These vineyards are situated in one of the best zones of production in the area, at a height of between 280 and 450 metres. The soil is mostly pliocenica in origin mixed with some clay and sand. The vines, only local varieties (Prugnolo
Gentile, Canaiolo nero, Mammolo, Colorino, Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasìa del Chianti and
Grechetto) are raised at Guyot and are planted at a
density of about 3.300/4.000 plants per hectares with a
limited yield (less than 55 quintals per hectares) which permits
the use of the very best quality grapes.
The care of the
grapes is always marked by the maximum regard for nature.
The training, manuring, pruning and thinning of the vines
are carried out as demanded by the years vintage. The
harvest is done by hand in boxes and, as time goes by,
according to the performance of the grapes, the older
vines are gradually replaced. The historic
cellars, cared for fifty years by Adamo Pallecchi, valued
and trusted cellarman, is laid out on three floors
offering a fine sight to visitators. lt's capacity is 1.000 quintals in cement vats and 500 quintals in stailess steel vats for the fermentation and 1.300 quintals in oak casks and 1.000 quintals in cement stailess steel vats and for its' ageing.
All the wines produced by the estate are
matured here: Vino Nobile (classico, Pietra Rossa, Mulinvecchio,
Riserva), Rosso di Montepulciano , Il Sansovino (in memory of the famous sculptor and architect Andrea Contucci
called "Il Sansovino" 1467-1529), the Vin Santo
and finally Bianco della Contessa in honour of the women
in the family, in all a total of approximately 100.000
bottles annually. 60% of the sales are made to private citizens directly from the cellars, the remainder are accounted for by HO.Re.CA and by exports to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Holland, England, Ireland, Poland and Usa. Besides
the wines the estate also produces Extra Vergine Olive
Thanks to their beauty, these cellars are visited
daily by tourists from all over the world, who are
offered the chance to taste the estates' wines in a
charming small, appropriately furnished room. Small
quantities of Vino Nobile are matured for a long time
with excellent results. Even up to 40/45 years (the
oldest bottle now dates to 1887).
It's possible to visit and to taste the wine in Contucci winery all week-days and holidays (09.30 - 12.30; 14.30 - 18.30, car-parking "Fortezza", the bus can load and unload people to "Porta Farina" both to 200 metres).
We make also guided tours for a group (minimum 12 pax, maximum 50 pax) with the obligatory booking (09.30 - 11.00; 15.00 - 17.00).
The estate has 2 points of sale: Piazza Grande, Via S.Donato near the Fortezza, these are all open from Easter to November.