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Region: Tuscany

Montescudaio DOC

Montescudaio is ”Sangiovese Territory” in the sense that this grape has optimal growing conditions here. At the same time, it’s the name of several medieval villages spread out over the Cecina valley and dominated by the old Etruscan city, Volterra.

The appellation oversees the Casale Marittima, Castellina Marittima, Guidistallo and Montecatini Val di Cecina comuni, among others, all located in the Pisa province.

Like so many other places in Tuscany, it was the Etruscans who first instituted wine cultivation here. Over the course of the subsequent centuries, the interesting activity has gradually developed, and it now constitutes a significant part of the local economy.

In the 1100s, Count and Archbishop Gherardo Gherardesca gave an important contribution to the development of viticulture in the district, when he gave the Benedictine Order’s nuns in the Santa Maria Abbey in Montescudaio large land areas, which included several parcels planted with wine and olives. This was surely one of Italy’s more cheerful nunneries.

Contemporaneous documents reveal that the convent’s abbess, the Count’s daughter, enthusiastically dedicated herself to cultivating wine, in strict adherence to the Benedictine rule about ”ora et labora” (pray and work). An interesting, but understandable interpretation of the rule.

There’s not much historical evidence for the development of the local wine cultivation in the following years. It’s only clear that Montescudaio’s wines soon began to develop a certain reputation, primarily due to the efforts of a merchant named Niccolò Taddei.

As the result of this merchant’s hard work, he succeeded towards the mid-19th century to position the wines on the most important markets, and in 1887 wine from Montescudaio received its first significant recognition at a national oenological competition in Rome, where it won the silver medal.

Montescudaio covers a large area, even though the vineyards make up a small portion of the zone. In the coastal area, the terrain is low and, as you come more inland, the fields reach an altitude of approx. 1300 feet.

Previously the white wines made from the Trebbiano grapes that dominated production, but now Sangiovese has taken the lead as the most important grape in the more robust red wines.

Read more about the wines from Montescudaio DOC by clicking i the top menu in the right side.