Drive down the long dirt road approaching Tenuta Valdipiatta and you witness the glory of the past and the taste of the future.
Acres and acres of vines, some decades old, some barely a year, roots finding a home in some of the most valuable terroir in Italy.
Everything about this place feels authentic. This is not product of good marketing. This is product of care, attention and excellent grapes.
We lucked out on this day because it was prime harvest time. The workers were hand picking the vines. Truckloads of fat juicy grapes were poured into the de-stemmer and the fermentation process begins.
We got a tour and tasting of four of their wines for 10 Euros. They have another tour that sounds sublime: a sensory wine tasting that guides you through the experience using natural and artificial aromas that lead you through the sampling of three of their fine wines.
I called at the last minute on the off chance they had an available time. Lucia graciously obliged with a tour of the estate and a tasting of some of their best.
It's one of the many things I love about this country. There is always something around the corner to discover that makes your life so much richer for having experienced it.
In this case, it was the Valdipiatta Vino Nobile Di Montipulciano 2009. And it wasn't just us. Robert Parker gave it a whopping 93 - not bad considering it is only 17 Euros a bottle.
We sampled the Rosso, the Vino Nobile, the Riserva and Lucia threw in a Super Tuscan blend of Canaiolo and Merlot for comparison.
Tenuta Valdipiatta bottles 140,000 bottles a year. And I am taking home four of them for tonight's dinner and four of them back to Canada. Such difficult decisions. Allowing you to bring back only four bottles is sheer torture. The signs that say We Ship Worldwide are so misleading. In Canada, it only valuable of you are buying crazy expensive wine. The base price for shipping 6 bottles in 110 Euros. Argh!
But Valdipiatta will make my final cut. And when I am sitting on my back deck with great friends, a plate of simple pasta and I pop open that bottle - it will bring back memories of another perfect day in the outskirts of Montepulciano, Italy - a glass in hand and a dream to return again.
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