"I love Brunello!"
"Sure you do," I say to myself. . . "I mean really, who doesn't?"
So, drum roll please, let me introduce to you a Brunello I really love. . . Abbadia Ardenga, located in the northern area of the beautiful, heart-stopping Montalcino (Tuscany, Italy).
|Oenologist Paolo Ciacci and Massimiliano Giovannoni|
Paolo Ciacci and his brother Fabio are the force behind these beautiful traditional wines backed by some serious history. Owned by a non-profit organization, Paolo and Fabio's father started the vineyards in the 1960s/70s and since the first vine was planted, the winery has been run by the Ciacci family. The cantina is actually located in Torreniere, The Black Tower, right next to the town of Montalcino. But please don't get confused, the grapes are actually grown in Montalcino, where they make a Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (including a single vineyard "Vigna Piaggia"), a few I.G.T white and red wines, and a Vinsanto dessert wine -- as well as grappa and olive oil.
|Torrenieri, The Black Tower|
The cantina of Abbadia Ardenga, located in the above Torrenieri, dates back to the Roman-Etruscan period 300-100 B.C. -- no joke! And according to their website, "In 990 the Archbishop of Canterbury stopped here on his way back from Rome to London and also Arrigo VII from Luxemburg, King of Germany and Emperor of the Roman Empire stayed here where he unexpectedly died."
|Paolo Ciacci and me|
A photo of the harvest, from the good 'ole days.
This is the collection, wines that have been shelved for years untouched. You could stick your fingers through and write your name on a bottle through the dust. Well, what I really wanted to do was open one of the old Soldera bottles and kick back for the rest of the afternoon. A tour through Abbadia Ardenga's cantina will make you feel like you're in a Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure movie!
If you still didn't believe the history of this place!
This is an exposition about the destruction and siege of the Black Tower. . . and I do believe that the steps are there when the water level rises -- because Paola was walking on them.
Relics in every corner, and my favorite below -- the barrel room -- where Massimiliano explains that it used to be: "the train station for horses."