Experiences and itineraries for wine lovers in two beautiful areas of Tuscany.
As I anticipated you in my post abut the Thermal baths in Val di Chiana senese and Val d’Orcia, I’m going to dedicate a whole post to those who, just like me, love wine in all its declinations: as a pleasure of the senses and the palate, as a cultural experience, as a social phenomenon and aggregative rite.
When I went to Valdichiana and Val d’Orcia for my Blogger Experience Wellness, created by Terre di Benessere, in collaboration with Valdichiana Living and Destination Makers, I had the idea that this territory was a spa resort where the benefits of the springs have a strong hold on the imaginary of the place, tied to water rather than to any other element.
However, the experience has proved to be even more interesting by showing me how the Strade del Vino Nobile (Noble Wine Roads) intersect with all the other aspects of local culture, including the one related to spas.
If you follow me on this itinerary, you will understand how I’ve been so fascinated.
Strade del Vino Nobile
Do you know the Wine Nobile of Montepulciano?
If the answer is no … I think it’s time to fix it. It is a red DOGC produced in Valdichiana Senese and one of the oldest wines of Italy.
Who knows me knows how much I go mad for the toasted wood barrels, which gives me a sense of home, fireplace and warmth: the Nobile, Sangiovese at least 70%, is mainly produced and matured in oak barrels or slavonia giving the wine wondrous flavors.
The rest of the uniqueness of this wine is given by the type of soil that in these areas varies greatly from one subregion to another and that is why the specific Vino Nobile is found only in the area of Montepulciano.
Meanwhile, I recommend a walk in the hills of Valdichiana where the vines alternate to give you a unique spectacle in the world and I suggest you to schedule a visit to some of the companies.
Mi sono vista che ridevo, mi sono vista di spalle, che partivo. E come ho rubato queste parole, ho rubato molte altre cose, ad esempio storie di persone, aneddoti, modi di dire e persino intere frasi da altre lingue. Perché per raccontare, una vita non basta e me ne servono altre. E raccontare un viaggio è la sola cosa che mi piace più del viverlo. 🇬🇧 how many things did I steal in life? Stories most of all, anecdotes, words and even other languages and mentalities. I need to steal lives to tell my stories. And the only reason to that is… telling a story is the only thing I like more than living it.
Montepulciano Wine Cellars
Now, the wine-making vocation of a territory impacts on its landscape, as you can imagine. In fact, in Montepulciano it also impacts on architecture and history.
The wine cellars of Montepulciano are more than simple “cellars”. They are mystical and almost hidden trails the locals are so proud of to be jealous; visiting them makes you feel privileged.
Among the cellars of Montepulciano, special attention must be given to Cantina De’Ricci, also known as the Cathedral of Wine.
In fact, the most beautiful winery in the world, made of staircases and bends and aisles with huge barrels, candlesticks, even temporary art installations.
At the end of the visit you can taste the wine; The Nobile of Cantina De ‘Ricci can be even 100% Sangiovese (as in the case of the 2014 reserve, which is matured for 3 years in Slavonian barrels).
If you want to have a complete map of wine bars, wineries and wine cellars in Montepulciano, check this link.
Wine beauty treatment
Let’s try to make a small thematic leap and let’s talk about spa wellness and body treatments.
On the day of my experience at the Adler Resort, I tried the “wine treatment”: a scrub massage with dusted grapeseed, local olive oil and red wine.
All accompanied by a massage and a relaxing herbal tea at the end of treatment.
The scrub pruning effect combined with the soothing softness of the oil has brought to life a skin burnt by the Salento summer, but also a bit stressed by an entire working yeasr without even a day off.
However, my reflection on the margin of treatment has focused on how much locals feel and live the importance of every part of the wine processing, including the waste (the grain, precisely).
Palazzo Bandino: to live the wine from the grape up to the root
Let’s go back to dusted grapseeds:I could touch them in Val d’Orcia, in Chianciano Terme, at Palazzo Bandino, on a mild morning mist.
They showed me their cellars and the bottling and production sites of their wine (which of course you have to taste), telling me about the little big land conservation and eco sustainability battles brought by the family-run business.
Even here, between a tasting of local wines and a walk through the vineyards, you can enjoy the wellness center and book not only massages, sauna and Turkish baths, but also wine treatments with the use of natural active ingredients products.
Here at Palazzo Bandino, everything becomes conscious reusing and new energy, not just in a metaphorical sense, as the company is energetically autonomous to 80% thanks to a combustion system of waste from agricultural processes.
The choice is especially recommended to my environment aware readers.
Wineries and places to eat and drink: I’ve been here
Stanca o no, datemi del buon vino, che mi sia memoria di un posto come fosse una fotografia. Questo, era un ottimo Dei, riserva 2011. #vinonobiledimontepulciano. 🇬🇧🇬🇧let my memories be full of places, perfumes and #wine. This memory was a Nobile DI #Montepulciano. 🍷 #terredibenessere #bloggerexperiencewellness #Valdichianaliving #destinationmakers #stradavinonobile #valdichianasenese #valdorcia – presso Osteria Porta di Bacco, Montepulciano
And then, les amies, there are those places where I could eat and taste several local wines that made me fall (in love).
I have already told you about my night spa at Terme di Bagno Vignoni , but the truth is that this spa is also a hotel with an excellent restaurant with and a rich winery.
Managers, a 100% local family, will be happy to show you any combination of food and wine.
Their winery on the open-air terrace looks out onto one of the most special squares in the world, where you will not see bell-towers or churches, but a spa bath.
Here is a gallery from my Insta Story that night. Even a vegetarian bird like me ate and drank far beyond the confines of credibility.
Another place I really want to recommend you is in Montepulciano (you could dine here after a day visiting the wineries in point 1); this is the Osteria Porta di Bacco, with an open wine cellar where you can taste several types of wine, before deciding what to accompany your meal with.
I gave myself a great Dea, reserve 2011.
Soon for you, mes amis, I’ll write a post about where to eat typical and vegetarian food in these areas.