Saturday, June 8, 2013

Montepulciano wine cellars

I've already posted pictures from that day but because I was so excited and took so many photos, I shrank everything to fit as many shots as possible into one blog entry. I'm still thinking about this wonderful wine cellar and how majestic and creepy it was. I had a feeling when I walked down the steps they were originally meant for horses and I was right!

Here's the description from their website:

The Winery
In the heart of Montepulciano, just a few steps from Piazza Grande, the main square in town, below the elegant Palazzo Ricci, a Renaissance palace commissioned by Cardinal Giovanni Ricci (1498-1574) to the great Sienese architect Baldassarre Peruzzi (1481-1536), there is the monumental Cantina de’ Ricci, one of the most ancient and beautiful in the world, which is accessed through an impressive equestrian staircase that gradually leads the visitor to the discovery of an enchanted place.

Here, for many centuries, the now extinct Ricci Family has lovingly cared and treasured one of the most demanded products of these lands: the wine.

The Cellar
For those visiting the Wine Cellar, excavated into the soft tufaceous soil, roofed by a monumental succession of arches and sustained by massive pillars which together remind us of a Romano-Gothic Cathedral, the sight is absolutely breathtaking.

The visitor will walk through the silent corridors bordered by several caves, laboriously dug out of the tuff, which host, at an optimal natural temperature, rows and rows of huge precious Slavonian oak casks, perfectly preserved, where thousands of hectolitres of the delicious Vino Nobile are stored.

In dozens of neatly lined barriques are refined the best wines obtained from grapes ripened under the golden sun of Tuscany, in the well-kept vineyards which luxuriant crown the fertile and gorgeous hills around Montepulciano sloping gently toward the Valdichiana valley on the East, and stretching until the edge of the Valdorcia valley on the West.

A visit to this Wine Cellar is a journey throughout time and history; here you will find the very essence of the sweet land of Tuscany: the wine, which the Etruscans, our distant ancestors, centuries before the Christian era, already took care of, worshipped and drank, with passion and perseverance, in happiness and joy!

The cellar, on the occasion of a high qualified visit of a few international enologists organised by the Enoteca Italiana Senese in 1992, was defined as “THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WINE CELLAR IN THE WORLD”.


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