Montepulciano is called ‘the pearl of the Renaissance’. The medieval treasure, home of the Vino Nobile wines and one of the most beautiful hillside towns in Tuscany. Did you know, that Montepulciano is not stunning only outside, but also inside! There is a whole another world under the town! The caves and tunnels under the town used to connect the grand palaces and were surely also perfect escape ways! Today a perfect environment for ageing wine. Almost all wine shops in town have their bit of the underground wonders. Visit Montepulciano underground wine cellars for free! At the end of the tour you will pass by the wine shop, where you can taste and buy the wines. Simple tastings are often free. Wine and food or guided tours are on payment.
If you don’t have time to visit them all, here are few of the most impressive underground wine cellars in Montepulciano:
1. CANTINE DE RICCI also called CANTINE REDI . Situated only few steps from the main square Piazza Grande, under the Renaissance palace Palazzo Ricci, buildt by sienese architect Peruzzi (1481-1536), commissioned by the noble Ricci family. Today Palazzo Ricci is a cultural forum, that hosts concerts, exhibitions and other cultural happenings. The entrance to the monumental wine cellars is impressive, through a stairway, carved in stone, under the arched roof. The visitors walk silent and one cannot help thinking if the place is a church or a wine cellar. There is an atmosphere of a gothic cathedral. The endless long caves have high ceilings, where the huge oak casks majestically rest, preserving the precious Vino Nobile wine, matured under the warm Tuscan sun and stored in this magnificent cave in the perfect natural temperature. Cantine Redi has been nominated in wine magazines as one of the most beautiful wine cellars in the world. Via Collazzi 7, 53045 Montepulciano. Open: Every day 09.30-19.00. Free entrance. Guided tours: € 5,00 per person. Wine tasting light lunch: From € 15,00 per person. www.dericci.it
2. Citta Sotterranea – The underground town: Cantine Ercolani. This winery has a vast network of tunnels under the wineshop, where the visitors can view two etruscan tombs, a small agricultural museum, selection of fossils and rare medieval instruments for torturing. Just to mention few of the interesting historic details found in the the caves under some of the most celebrated noble palaces in town. Ercolani & Pulcino winery is a family business, that offers a vast range of local products in their wine shop; wine, olive oil, honey, cheese and cured meats. Guided tours, combined with wine tastings and lunches on request / payment. Via Gracciano nel Corso 82, 53045 Montepulciano. Open: 08.00-22.00 every day. www.ercolanimontepulciano.it
3. Cantina Tombesi – Cantina Ercolani: Situated in the elegant Palazzo Trecci Tombesi, this underground cellar is an active winery ageing Nobile wines and vinsanto dessert wine. The passages are built wide and light. The visitors can stop by the different corners of the cellar, to admire the small agricultural museum to learn more about traditions of winemaking or to have a tasting with local products. Also this tunnel is part of the intriguing underground network. One you reach the exit of this winery, you will be surprised! Via delle Farine 1, 53045 Montepulciano. Open every day 09.00-20.00. www.ercolanimontepulciano.it
4. Cantine Contucci: The family can be traced back to around year 1000, an important name for the history of the town and the wine. Family gives name also to one of the magnificent palaces at the main square, Palazzo Contucci (rooms rented in the palace, if interested ask for further info!). Impressive under ground wine cellars right under Contucci palace, and two other wine bars in town, Piazza Grande and Piazza San Donato. Via del Teatro N. 1. Montepulciano. www.contucci.it
5. Cantina Gattavecchi: Gattavecch’s underground wine cellars from 12th century contain also an older cave, probably from etruscan period. This winery has magnificent depths, and lovely surface, situated on the edge of the town, attached to Santa Maria church, the winery enjoys great views to the surrounding countryside. Terrace is perfect for outside dining, small panoramic top terrace for taking great pictures. Inside hall is an old convent, turned into a cozy dining room. Lillianas kitchen is known wide and far, Tuscan cooking spiced up with international and modern twist. Gattavecchi has several wineshops in town, but we suggest you to visit the real thing, a lovely spot to dine and wine in Montepulciano.Via di Collazzi 74, 53045 Montepulciano. Open: All day, every day. Wine tastings from € 7,00 per person. www.gattavecchi.it