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Worshipping Brunello

The great Tuscan wine in the historic cellar of Abbadia Ardenga.

Worshipping Brunello

When wine enthusiasts start talking about Tuscany's Brunello di Montalcino, one of the world's most famous wines, the conversation takes on a mystical tone. Brunello production is centered around the medieval hilltop town of Montalcino, where both the climate and the composition of the terrain are particularly favorable. This extraordinary wine is obtained from the Sangiovese vine and is left to mature at length in oak barrels. A visit to the area, which for wine lovers is tantamount to a form of pilgrimage, is one in which the history, culture and evolution of Tuscan wine-making entwine.

A truly unique experience awaits those visiting Torrenieri's Abbazia Ardenga, located at the center of an area in which the medieval towns of Buonconvento, San Giovanni d'Asso, San Quirico d'Orcia and Montalcino are situated. Here, wine lovers expecting to tour a farm with vineyards and cellars will, instead, find themselves in front of an ancient abbey the origins of which date back to the year 1000. Inside the Church of S. Andrea, recent restoration of the seven naved crypt, revealed the traces of wall paintings considered to be the only of their kind in the province of Siena. The Ardenga Abbey has been the property of the Società di Esecutori di Pie Disposizioni di Siena, since the early 1700's.

The Abbadia Ardenga estate extends over 650 hectares of land, only ten of which are used for the cultivation of the Sangiovese grapes and which produce circa 40,000 bottles of Brunello di Montalcino Vigna, Rosso di Montalcino and Ardengo Rosso. Although it would be possible to increase the yield considerably, the decision has been made to limit production to 6000 kilos of grapes per hectare, (much lower than the 7000kilos established by the Brunello production disciplinary). Wine has been produced in the area for centuries and as early as 1902 the Abbadia Ardenga was awarded a prize as best wine exporter.

Today, the old cellar has been transformed into a museum included in the Val d'Orcia Park circuit. The cellar museum is managed by Mario Ciacci who, in 1967, began supervising its restoration. Ciacci introduces visitors to the world of Brunello, from the vines to the techniques of vinification. This journey exploring one of Tuscany's finest wines is made all the more appealing by the visit to the museum, in which a fascinating collection of ancient farming tools is displayed. Amidst massive arches and columns, wells and underground passages, in the heart of the cellar there is a caveau in which a precious collection of rare vintages is conserved, including a priceless 1955 Brunello. On request, visits include tastings of Brunello wines accompanied by typical gastronomic products.

Abbadia Ardenga
Via Romana, 139
Montalcino (Siena)
Tel. + 039 0577834150
www.abbadiardengapoggio.it

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