Production and DOC Regulations for Brunello Wine
Brunello was the name used locally in Montalcino, for what at the time was believed to be a unique grape variety. But in 1879, after some years of controlled experiments, the Province of Siena's Amphelographic Commission determined that Brunello wine and Sangiovese were actually the same grape variety. In Montalcino, the name Brunello became the name of the wine made entirely of Sangiovese (aka Brunello) grapes.
The Production Area of Brunello wine
The production area of Brunello di Montalcino, which corresponds exactly to the area of the Municipality of Montalcino in the Province of Siena, can be found in southern Tuscany about 40 kilometers south of the city of Siena. The production area has a surface area of 243.62 kilometers and is delineated by a valley with three rivers: the Orcia, the Asso and the Ombrone. The shape is almost square, with all the sides being approximately 15 kilometers long. The area ranges from roughly 120 meters above sea level at the rivers to 650 meters above sea level at Poggio Civitella, which is the highest point. The hills of Montalcino have numerous soil environments, having formed in different geological eras attributable to sandstones, even mixed with limestone, Alberese and Galestro, as well as soils of varying grit sizes sometimes tending toward sandy and sometimes clayey.
The hills of Montalcino are 40 km from the sea to the west, as the crow flies, and about 100 km from the Apennines that run down through central Italy positioned to the East. The climate is Mediterranean, but tends to be dry; and it also has features of the continental climate because of its position between the sea and the mountains of the central Apennines. The climate can best be understood by looking at the average rainfall and the measured temperatures. Precipitation is concentrated in the spring and summer, as with most Mediterranean climate zones, and the average annual rainfall is about 700 millimeters. In the winter it is also possible to have snow above 400 meters. The mid-hill area does not have fog, ice or late frost, while the frequent presence of wind guarantees the best conditions for the health of the vines. During the entire vegetative phase of growth the temperatures are mostly mild with lots of days of nice weather, which means that the grapes can mature gradually and completely.
Regulations for the Brunello di Montalcino DOC
According to the regulations of 1966, “Brunello di Montalcino” was a wine obtained from the fermentation of pure Sangiovese grapes with the following characteristics:
· Grape yield: 70 q
· Wine yield: 68,0%
· Grape alcohol: 12,0%
· Wine alcohol: 12,5%
· Net dry extract: 24,0‰
· Color: intense ruby red tending towards garnet as it ages
· Odor: characteristic and intense
· Taste: dry, warm, slightly tannic, robust, harmonious and persistent
· Period of aging for at least two years in oak containers of any size, and for at least four months in the bottle.
· Can be sold not before the 1st of January of the year after which the five years have finished calculated from the harvest year.
· Wines that are labeled Riserva can be sold after the 1st of January of the year after the 6 years have finished calculated from the harvest year, if the two years of aging in oak containers has been completed as well as at least six months in the bottle.
Rosso di Montalcino Wine
Rosso di Montalcino is a DOC wine, the production of which is allowed only in the municipality of Montalcino. You can also try our Rosso di Montalcino: buy it in our shop.
The wine’s properties are enhanced by pairing it with typical dishes from the Tuscan cuisine with natural and decisive flavors, and, equally, it can accompany and enhance many international dishes. It can be paired with dishes that are more or less structured such as: pasta dishes with meat sauce, poultry, mushrooms or truffles, risotto dishes, or main dishes prepared with pork or veal sauces. It should be served in crystal glasses for red wine and at a temperature of around 18°C.
The production process that must be followed for this wine requires, exactly like for the production of the famous Brunello wine, that only grapes from the Sangiovese vines be used. During the process of vinification, the grape skins and seeds need to remain in contact with the must, allowing them to leave all the aromas that will then define the wine itself. Fermentation, the duration of which is different depending on the product in question, is followed by the racking - the moment during which the must is separated from the skins and seeds. From here we proceed, in order, to the processes of the decanting, refining and aging, and then bottling using only Bordeaux style bottles. The wine can be sold only from the beginning of September of the year following the harvest.