First things first. Or should I try the other way around? Follow me and let’s try to figure it out together.

Before the mesmerizing Cellar, before the magnificent Palace built in the Renaissance by Antonio da Sangallo and decorated with frescos by Andrea Pozzo, way before all this there was Montepulciano, and Montepulciano was all about Wine. Wine here was so good as it was made with the most Noble Grapes and affordable only to the Noblesse. Wine was so precious here that it had to be kept in a vault, and where would you build a vault in medieval times but in the fortified town walls?

The Contucci family knew better, and that is exactly where you can find the secular cellar today, inside the ancient walls of Montepulciano. The walls were filled with wine, and the wine was going to be their lifeline over the centuries. Contucci’s blend has been very much the same for 40 generations now;  the classic Nobile made with Prugnolo Gentile, Canaiolo Nero, Colorino and Mammolo. Now if you think the “basic” wine is the easy one to make you are very much mistaken! It is actually the other way around! And basically here we are talking about one outstanding “basic” Nobile!

Palazzo Contucci, full of history and stories! It breaths, vibrates, tells, shows, to those who have the gift and can hear and see. A gift, but also a curse.

Indulgence and resentment, joy and pain, hate and love. Love yes, I want to talk about love! Because it is the day the Contucci and Avignonesi promise each other eternal love! The wedding of the century, the most prized wine of course! It had to be PALAZZO CONTUCCI made with the best of the two single vineyard, MULINVECCHIO and PIETRA ROSSA.

The new couple happily twirling and dancing with their cups overflowing with wine, a new family, a new life, a new bloodline, the same lifeline, Nobile wine. And I swear I could feel them, I heard them laughing, yes, they were laughing, I think I even saw them, and they were gone! Sorry Andrea what were you saying? Oh the ancient grand piano! Composers over the centuries have set here! May I? Yes, I do play, very poorly indeed…

Musicians come and go, and they all have the single vineyard PIETRA ROSSA as their favorite, a harmonious symphony of fragrances and flavors! Andrea calls us down to the cellar! Hurry! There’s a bit of a turmoil, what’s going to on down there? We all rushed down the stairs, down in the heart of the walls, so fast that I totally forgot about my claustrophobia!

“I’m telling you, it’s MULINVECCHIO single vineyard from barrel 22213!” says Adamo.

“You stupid you! You cannot certainly fool Giulio! Are you kidding me? This is from barrel 22214.”

It is tasting and evaluation day today, with Giulio, yes the great master himself, Giulio Gambelli. With Adamo they were a formidable couple of tasters, so much so that during the official evaluation sessions they had to be separated because, let’s put it this way, two pieces of evidence is a fact! And they risked influencing the judgment of the other members of the commission!

Adamo, another piece of history, I would have stayed there forever listening to his tales! Adamo, who calls me the blonde little cutie 😊

It is getting dark now, the twighlight is gone and it is too late to go watch the beautiful sunset over Val d’Orcia. Andrea blesses us both with his wonderful VIN SANTO, made with Malvasia Bianca, Trebbiano Toscano e Grechetto grapes. Fragrant liquid gold, and a soothing caress after such an intense afternoon. We say goodbay and I leave with the heart full of joy and gratitude. I will return, I promise, if only to find the part of me that will remain forever within these walls. I wonder if someday someone like me will see for a moment the girl in the red jacket playing the piano or the boy with the camera…

We walk in silence to the cars Nose and I, so many thoughts, feelings and emotions to figure out. A quick good bye, it is a long drive home for both of us. I start the engine and drive away, leaving Montepulciano and  Cantina Contucci behind; they have both taken forever a piece of my heart. And here, alone, I can finally break down and cry!