Italy 2015 ~ Wine Tasting in Montalcino and Dinner at Podere Spedalone

Sunday ended up being our day to visit Montalcino for wine tasting. Since most of the area vineyards are not open regular hours on Sunday or are by appointment, we decided to visit the Enoteca La Fortezza di Montalcino, where we could get a sampling of the area’s fine wines.

Montalcino was just a 15-minute drive from our base at Borgo Lucignanello Bandini, and it was another beautiful day to explore the Italian countryside. We wound up, up, up to the top of the hill, finding a great parking spot just below the town’s main gate.

IMG_0001IMG_0652Amazing view over the Val d’Orcia from Montalcino

IMG_0160The Fortress of Montalcino was begun in 1361 as part of the defense for the town. Today it houses the Enoteca La Fortezza Wine Bar offering wine tasting, light appetizers and wine, liquor and souvenir sales. IMG_0002

Ready to begin our tasting… They put paper rings around the base of the glasses and you make notes on them to remember the level of how you liked each. Monica used the 1-3 star system which worked well for her. Denise and I wrote “liked” “disliked” or “loved”with hearts for our favorites. IMG_0012“Vignadelmar” / Luciano Lombardi was our tasting host, and is a renowned for his experience in wines and an author with Doctor Wine:

IMG_0008Check out some of the prices of the bottles in the glass showcase!

Following our tasting, Luciano sat down with us to discuss our ratings and we learned we have expensive tastes for our 3-star/”love” choices! They offered free shipping if you bought a case, so we each picked our favorites and went in on a case together. The only drawback is you have to wait a few months once your shipment arrives in the United States to let them settle from their journey.  We bought a bottle of honey grappa which Wally and Denise opened immediately to ward off the afternoon chill. It was delicious!

We had lunch with a view – the photo below was taken from the restaurant window. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out the name of which restaurant we ate at, so I will add that later! It was reasonable and tasted good!IMG_0696

We arrived back at Borgo Lucignanello Bandini later in the afternoon and stopped off at the office to inquire about somewhere for dinner. The manager secured us reservations for dinner at Podere Spedalone, just a few minutes down our gravel road.

Located in a farmhouse, they offer apartment rentals and have family-style Italian meals. We were lucky enough that they had four spots left for dinner that night! It was 35 Euro for the entire meal and drinks per person and a wonderful experience sitting with other travelers and learning about their adventures.

 IMG_0163And that completes another delicious day in Tuscany!

Categories: Travel: ITALY | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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