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 nobles".
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 Spurred Cordon 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. Besides the wines the estate also produces Extra Vergine Olive Oil.
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.