Make Mine Montecucco: The Secret is Out About This Terrific Tuscan Wine

From by Wanda Mann
Make Mine Montecucco: The Secret is Out About This Terrific Tuscan Wine

Castello Colle Masari
Castello ColleMassari,
founded in 1998, is the largest wine producer in Montecucco. In 2014, they were selected as "Winery of the Year" by the prestigious Gambero Rosso Italian Wine Guide. 

The next time you want to impress one of your know-it-all wine friends, reach for a bottle of Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG. A unique expression of Tuscany's signature Sangiovese grape, wines from the Montecucco region of the Maremma are ready to claim their rightful share of the spotlight from Chianti, Morellino di Scansano, and Brunello di Montalcino. In fact, Montecucco is geographically situated between Brunello and Morellino. With vineyards located on the slopes of Mount Amiata (an extinct volcano) and caressed by sea breezes from the Tyrrhenian coast and the Argentario, Montecucco's microclimate nurtures a diverse range of delicious, and relatively affordable, Sangiovese based wines.

Basile Organic Wine Farm - a small winery making a big splash in Italy and abroad.

On a recent trip to Montecucco, I was beyond impressed by the genuine hospitality, beauty of the landscape, and excellent quality of the wines. The commitment and talent of Montecucco winemakers has not gone unnoticed and in 2011 the wines were elevated to the coveted DOCG status - Italy's highest classification for wine. Wines with the Montecucco DOCG designation must include at least 90% Sangiovese grapes. The quantity and quality of wine from Montecucco continues to rise and the region's 70 wineries produce about 1.8 million bottles a year.

Grapes fermenting at Castello ColleMasari.

From small family-run wineries that are still being built stone-by-stone to gleaming state-of-the art facilities, Montecucco's winemakers are bound together by their shared commitment to creating quality wine that uniquely showcases their region. The vast majority of the area's winemakers are members of the Montecucco Consorzio Tutela, a consortium that unifies the vintners in their quest and ensures quality. A great area for wine lovers to vacation, La Strada del Vino di Montecucco (Wine Trail Montecucco) winds through picturesque villages. Many of the vineyards have tasting rooms and some even offer accommodations. To get you acquainted with Montecucco, here are two great wines to ask for at your local wine shop. Give them a swirl and I'm sure you'll be inspired to book a trip to Montecucco!

A selection of wines from Castello ColleMasari.

Colle Masari Poggio LombroneBold and balanced ColleMassari Poggio Lambrone Sangiovese Riserva 2010 ($55). 100% Sangiovese. A silky single-vineyard 100% Sangiovese wine from ColleMasari's oldest vineyard. Balanced flavors of rich dark fruit, pepper and spice with a dash of minerality. 

Named as winery of the year by the prestigious Gambero Rosso guide, Castello ColleMasari is the perfect place to start your Montecucco wine adventure. Founded in 1998, ColleMasari has played a key role in elevating Montecucco's reputation for fine wine. From crispy young white wines to bold reds, they have one of the most diverse portfolios in the region. Sample wine in their stunning tasting room and book accommodations at their rustic-chic agriturismo, Pecora Vecchia.

Giovan Battista Basile had the courage to do what many people dream of  - he made a complete career change to follow his passion for winemaking. A native of Naples, Giovan was practicing law when the call of the vineyards became too strong to ignore. In 1999 he and his brother Domenico purchased an abandoned hilltop vineyard and painstakingly restored the land. Today, Basile wines are gaining attention and accolades in Italy and beyond. Legendary culinary journalist David Rosengarten was so impressed by Basile that he imports their wines to the United States.


Basile Ad Agio Montecucco Sangiovese Riserva 2009 ($42)
Silky with a subtle spice and a lingering finish, this bold vino will age beautifully and demonstrates the elegant power of Montecucco wines. Perfect match with red meat and game.

Stay tuned for more reviews of Montecucco wines!


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