Sorry about the delay in finishing up my Italy trip, since I’ve been home now for two weeks! I will get it all wrapped up in the next couple days! Only a couple more blogs to go! Here is Steve with this Tuscany blog…
Having the car rental and a home base in Sorano set us up for some great day trips to surrounding towns. Montepulciano was a two hour trip through quiet winding roads. The town is medieval in setup and its recent claim to fame is that it was the setting for the Twilight movie New Moon. With a protected entrance and surrounding cliffs on three sides.
Taryn and I started our long march up the narrow stone streets oggling the enoteccas and salumerias, until we reached the central plaza. Blood sugar was low from lack of pasta, so we lunched outside staring at a view that hadn’t changed much since the 1300s. I remember hearty vegetable soup, fresh pesto, and grilled wild boar sausages.
Afterwards we visited the Contucci winery for some good examples of the “vino nobile.” Montepulciano was definitely one of our favorite towns. When I think of a perfect example of a classic Tuscan town, this is it.
The next day we headed out for Montalcino. I really wanted to get a taste for the “Brunellos”, which are often priced beyond reasonable back home. We visited the Banfi Winery which is kind of like a Disneyland for boozers. Imagine an enormous picturesque estate dripping with obscene amounts of money.
After a flight of Brunellos, we got our chance to try some “Super Tuscans”. This was incredible, and we brought back a couple bottles of proof. “Super Tuscan” is basically a clever marketing name made up for red wines of this region that do not follow the strict criteria for varietals and wine making processes. I call them damn good. Montalcino town didn’t impress us too much, but it was the surrounding wineries and countryside that made this place awesome.