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Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG

Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Piazza Grande, 7, 53045 Montepulciano (SI), Italia

Tel.: +39 0578/757812

Fax: +39 0578/758213

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Web: www.vinonobiledimontepulciano.com

Descripcion:

Production zone

The production zone for "Vino Nobile di Montepulciano" lies within the municipal area of Montepulciano except for the lower part of Val di Chiana, on land situated at altitudes between 250m and 600m above sea level. The land specifically suited to winegrowing is a small area whose climatic and geological features determine the quality of the wine produced there. With annual rainfall of around 740mm and an average temperature of 14°C, the climate is humid but close to sub-arid conditions (aridity index = 22).
The lithological composition of the land is mainly sand and sandy clay, loosely bound to the lentiform intervening layers of stones and fossils (pectinid and ostreid) from the middle-early Pliocene period. The vineyards are mainly east-facing.

 

Vino

  • VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO

The law:
The first production regulations where drawn up on July 1966. In 1980 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was granted the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, and was the first wine to be released with the top classification recognised by Italian legislation.
The most recent modifications were approved by decree on July 26 1999.

Production zone:
the territory of the commune of Montepulciano excluding the area of the Valdichiana, and limited to vineyards situated between 250 and 600 metres above sea level.

The Grapes:
Sangiovese (known as Prugnolo Gentile in Montepulciano): 70% minimum.
Up to a maximum of 20% Canaiolo Nero may be included, and up to a maximum of 20% of other varieties recommended and/or authorized fort the province of Siena.

Yields:
The maximum yield of grapes per hectare is 8 tons.

Ageing:
Vinification and compulsory ageing must take place within the territory of the commune of Montepulciano.
Wine with the appellation "Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG" must undergo an ageing period of at least two years, starting from January 1st following the harvest.
Within this period producers may choose from the following options:
1) 24 months of maturation in wood
2) 18 months minimum maturation in wood and the remaining months in other ageing vessels.
3) 12 months minimum in wood and six months minimum in bottle and the remaining months in other ageing vessels.
In the second and third case, the beginning of wood ageing must not be after April 30 of the year following the harvest.
Wine with the appellation "Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG" cannot be released before the end of two years maturation prescribed by law, with the starting date being January 1st of the year following the grape harvest.

Bottling:
Bottling operations must take place within the vinification zone. Wine with the appellation "Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG" which does not qualify as riserva may be bottled in the entire territory of the region of Tuscany by cellars which have been bottling "Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG" for at least three years before the present production regulations came into effect.

Riserva:
Wine with appellation "Vino Nobile di Montepulciano" deriving from grapes with a minimum natural alcoholic content by volume of 12.50% and subjected to an ageing period of at least 3 years of which six months must be in bottle, may have the added qualification "riserva" on the label, with the minimum time to be spent in wood as stipulated.

Characteristics:
Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume:
12.50%, for the "Riserva" 13.00%
Minimum total acidity: 4.5 g/l;
Minimum net dry extract: 23 g/l

  • ROSSO DI MONTEPULCIANO

The law:
DOC production regulations approved by presidential decree on December 21 1988 and subsequent modifications as prescribed by decree on July 26 1999.

Production zone:
The territory of the commune of Montepulciano excluding the area of the Valdichiana, and limited to vineyards situated between 250 and 600 metres above sea level.

The Grapes:
Sangiovese (known as Prugnolo Gentile in Montepulciano): 70% minimum.
A maximum of 20% of Canaiolo Nero may be included, and up to a maximum of 20% of varieties authorized and recommended fort the province of Siena.

Yields:
The maximum permitted yield of grapes for the production of "Rosso di Montepulciano" DOC is 10 tons per hectare of specialized vineyard.

Ageing:
"Rosso di Montepulciano" DOC may not be released before March 1st of the year following the grape harvest, wine qualified for the appellation "Vino Nobile di Montepulciano" DOCG, may be re-classified as "Rosso di Montepulciano" DOC as long as it fulfils the conditions and requirements laid down by the productions regulations.

Characteristics:
Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume:
11.50%
Minimum total acidity: 4.5 g/l;
Minimum net dry extract: 21 g/l

  • VIN SANTO DI MONTEPULCIANO

The law:
DOC production regulations approved by decree on November 16 1996.

The Grapes:
The production zone of the DOC wines "Vin Santo di Montepulciano", "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Riserva and "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Occhio di Pernice, covers the territory of the commune of Montepulciano excluding the low-lying area of the Valdichiana.

The Grapes:
"Vin Santo di Montepulciano" and "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Riserva:
Malvasia Bianca, Grechetto bianco (locally known as Pulcinculo), Trebbiano Toscano, either singly or together, for a minimum of 70%.
A maximum of 30% of other white varieties may be included on condition that they are recommended or authorized within the province of Siena. Aromatic varieties may not be included.
"Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Occhio di Pernice:
Sangiovese (Pruglolo Gentile) minimum 50%;
other varieties recommended or authorized in the province of Siena, either singly or together, up to a maximum of 50%.

Ageing:
Vinification, storing, and compulsory ageing of the wines must take place within the territory of the commune of Montepulciano.
Bottling must take place within the province of Siena.
The maximum permitted yield of the grapes in wine at the end of the ageing period must not exceed 35% of the fresh grapes.
Traditional vinification is carried out as follows:
The grapes must be carefully selected at harvest-time and laid out to dry in suitable premises; partial drying-out with ventilation is permitted, and the sugar content after the drying process must reach 28% for the "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" DOC and the "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Riserva DOC and 29% for "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Occhio di Pernice DOC.
The grapes must not be crushed before:
December 1st following the harvest for the "Vin Santo di Montepulciano"; January 15 of the year following the harvest for "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Riserva and February 28 of the year following the harvest for the "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Occhio di Pernice. Storing and ageing must take place in wooden vessels not exceeding a capacity of 300 litres for "Vin Santo di Montepulciano", in casks not exceeding a capacity of 125 litres for "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Riserva, and in casks not exceeding a capacity of 75 litres fo the "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Occhio di Pernice.
The minimum ageing period in wood is three years for "Vin Santo di Montepulciano", five years for "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Riserva, and eight years for "Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Occhio di Pernice.

Characteristics:
"Vin Santo di Montepulciano":
Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume:
17% of which at least 2% is unconverted;
minimum dry extract excluding sugars: 20 g/l
minimum total acidity: 4.5 g/l;
volatile acidity: a maximum of 10% of the total minimum alcoholic strength by volume.

"Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Riserva:
Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume:
17% of which at least 14.5% is converted and at least 2.5% unconverted.
minimum dry extract excluding sugars: 22 g/l
minimum total acidity: 4.5 g/l;
volatile acidity: a maximum of 10% of the total minimum alcoholic strength by volume.

"Vin Santo di Montepulciano" Occhio di Pernice:
Minimum total alcoholic strength by volume:
18% of which at least 15% is converted and at least 3% unconverted.
minimum dry extract excluding sugars: 25 g/l
minimum total acidity: 4.5 g/l;
volatile acidity: a maximum of 10% of the total minimum alcoholic strength by volume.

 

History

Montepulciano's history has always been closely linked to the fame of its vines and wine. According to ancient legend Montepulciano was supposedly founded according to the will of the Etruscan king, Lars Porsenna, who is said to have left Chiusi to settle on the hill of Mons Mercurius, with the other inhabitants of Chiusi who later changed the name to Mont Politicus.
Wine has been a part of Montepulciano's history since its earliest origins, as is demonstrated by the kylix (wine cup) with red figures made in Chiusi and discovered in 1868, along with numerous bronze objects, in an Etruscan tomb near the Tuscan town. The kylix depicts Flufluns, the Etruscan Bacchus, god of wine, playing at cottabo (a wine game) with a maenad.
In his "Storie" (V, 33) Livy mentions that the Gauls were attracted down into Italy by the wine of these hills: a certain Arrunte, an Etrucan from Chiusi, let them taste the wine in order to convince them to cross the Alps thus enabling him to avenge his Locumone, over a simple question of jealousy.
However the oldest document referring to the wine of Montepulciano dates back to 789: the cleric Arnipert offered the church of San Silvestro or San Salvatore in Lanciniano, on Mt. Amiata, a portion of land with vineyards on it inside the castle of Policiano. Later in his "Historical and geographical dictionary of Tuscany" Repetti mentioned a document dating back to 1350 in which the terms for trade and exportation of Montepulciano wine were established.

Records show that since the early Middle Ages the vineyards of Mons Politianus have produced excellent wines. In the mid-16th century Sante Lancerio, cellarman of Pope Paul III Farnese, praised Montepulciano perfect in both winter and summer, aromatic, fleshy, never sour, nor brightly-coloured, because it is a wine fit for Noblemen - for the tables of noblemen, although the earliest labels read simply Rosso Scelto di Montepulciano.
Moving on from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, Francesco Redi, renowned doctor and naturalist but also a poet, thoroughly praised the wine in his dithyrambic ode "Bacchus in Tuscany" (1685) in which Bacchus and Ariadne extol the finest Tuscan wines. The poem ends:

Montepulciano is the king of all wines!

The poem enjoyed considerable success and was passed on from one court to another until it fell into the hands of William III of England, Scotland and Ireland. King William's preference for Tuscan wines may well be the result of Redi’s writings which made them famous and is demonstrated by the journey of an English delegation in 1669 to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to obtain Moscadello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano for the English court.
The wine continued to be praised throughout its history and in the 19th century the success of some wineries in important mid-century competitions was balanced by the severe opinion of His British Majesty's winemaker at the Vienna exhibition in 1873, when he complained that the single sample of Montepulciano present was mediocre enough to raise a few doubts about Redi’s praise.

In the early 20th century Vino Nobile di Montepulciano seemed to be a thing of the past, until the first market of typical local wines held in Siena in 1933, organised by the National Market-Exhibition Body for typical fine wines; Cantina Fanetti, one of the wineries still active in Montepulciano, presented a fine red wine which met with general approval. Their example was followed by other wineries and in 1937 a cooperative was formed with the aim of forming a structure for selling wine made by smaller growers. Most of the wine made was Chianti; there was only a small quantity of Nobile. Today, though, the cooperative produces the greatest quantity of bottled Nobile.

D.O.C. and D.O.C.G. status
The 1960s saw a reawakening of winegrowing directed especially towards the production of Vino Nobile rather than Chianti. State and EEC contributions which enabled the wineries to convert the vineyards according to the requirements specified by the DOC (1966) allowed new wineries to enter the market. Recognition of the DOCG came in 1980 and Vino Nobile began its new life.
In addition the DOC awarded to Rosso di Montepulciano enabled it to remain distinct from the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in terms of yield per hectare, alcohol content and ageing, while the production area is the same. It is up to individual producers to decide whether to adhere to one or other of the two DOCs according to the aspect of their land, seasonal weather conditions and all other elements which make the grapes more suited for the production of one type of wine or the other.

 

The Protective Consortium

Several wine producers started the Vino Nobile Consortium in 1965. Its aims are to protect and promote the image of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, both in Italy and abroad. These goals have since been extended to the Rosso di Montepulciano(The Montepulciano Red Wine) and the VinSanto produced in the area.
Today, The Consortium is made up of 90% of the producers of Vino Nobile. It is currently in contact with institutes and organizations both in Italy and abroad that are in some way connected with “the culture of wine”. It guarantees the presence of its products at the most important Italian and international exhibitions and trade fairs.
The Consortium watches over the quality of its wines by following the different phases of production , from winemaking (vinification) to aging - at the individual wine cellars. It employs experts who guarantee periodic tasting until the product is submitted to DOCG boards (which guarantees the origin and the typical characteristic of the wine).
The Consortium hands down opinions and offers proposal regarding the production, programming and politics of vine growing and wine producing policies.
This role keeps it in contact with the most important public institutions in the sector.





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