Vineyards to Visit: Poggio Antico

Poggio Antico is one of the vineyards to visit in Tuscany in the UNESCO recognized area of Val d’Orcia.

Poggio Antico is famous for its Brunello like other producers in the area. However Poggio Antico can boast that it is one of the highest altitude producers of Brunello.

Brunello di Montalcino if you’re not familiar with the name, is considered to be the most famous Tuscan wine sold worldwide. It is a full-bodied complex red wine with notes of aromatic wood, fruit, and light vanilla. The grapes are grown under the Tuscan sun in soils that differ in composition just moving a few km in the Montalcino zone.
Poggio Antico takes advantage of all these characteristics, making an ecologically sustainable wine on its 200 hectare estate.

This unique climate and privileged position allows us to grow truly wonderful Sangiovese grapes…

It is one of the vineyards that I have found to be as authentic as they are professional. Some vineyards in the area have capitalized heavily on tourism and prefer to offer a more campy and kitsch theatrical experience rather than an educative, informative and fun one.

Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino

The tour of Poggio Antico is immersive but not tiring. By reducing the group numbers in the tours you feel doted on, as their staff take you through the various stages of the wine making process.

The part I enjoyed the most was lunch. They don’t boast too much about it but I think this is the number one reason to visit.

The high altitude that the estate sits at, allows a constant summer breeze to embrace you as you gaze out from their modern outdoor terrace onto the rolling hills of Tuscany.
The decor is clean and minimalist acting as a frame to a perfectly painted countryside scene.

At their restaurant you are able to enjoy lightly reinterpreted traditional cuisine such as warm beef tartar with lettuce caviar and Ceasar sauce, hand-made tagliatelle pasta with rabbit ragout flavored with thyme, just to mention a few.
Of course the wine list is nothing to scoff at and it’s best to ask the waiter for his recommended pairings in order to bring out the flavors in your meal.

When To Visit

Late June to early September. I’ve read they also take dinner reservations but the beauty of the estate is best seen during the day. Plan your itinerary accordingly to have the tour and lunch at the vineyard – 11am/11:30 am.

Don’t Miss

The town of Montalcino – quaint Medieval town to the south of Siena.

Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza – considered to be the first example of Renaissance architecture in Tuscany.

Chapel of Madonna of Vitaleta – A picture perfect image of the Tuscan hills, it sits on a country road where you can easily hop out and take photos.

Abbey of Sant’Antimo – One of the finest examples of a Romanesque church anywhere in Italy.

Tip: Be aware of your alcohol limit. I’ve seen patrols set up in the area after lunch for breathalyzer tests. Be aware of the very low speed limits in the areas around medieval towns. You can rack up quite a few fines on your vacation if you aren’t careful.

Have you ever been to Tuscany? Which medieval towns did you visit?

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