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Updated: May 2

The charming medieval towns of #Montepulciano and #Cortona are truly must-see destinations; the fact that you get to enjoy first-rate wine is just an added bonus!

#NobilediMontepulciano is primarily made up of the #Sangiovese grape along with a few other local varieties that give it its medium body and firm tannins. Coupled with a reddish brown color and the characteristic smell of sweet violets, this wine is an essential for all wine lovers. To experience the best of it, nothing can beat #Avignonesi winery.

This winery is located near the village of Valiano, just a few kilometers from the historic town of Montepulciano in one direction, and the splendid town of Cortona in the other. With its vineyards, villa, chapel and ancient stone wine cellars, it is the very heart of the Avignonesi winery. They greet guests who are interested in learning more about wine, winemaking and wine pairing. We were lucky enough to experience it and it has been so far one of the best meal with wine pairing we ever had. They also offer #cookingclasses as well, next time we are in the region, it’s on our bucket list.

Here's the full story of our unforgettable experience.

Imagine strolling through the picturesque vineyards of Tuscany, surrounded by rolling hills and bathed in the golden glow of the sun. That's exactly how our day began when we embarked on a journey to Avignonesi Winery, nestled in the heart of the stunning Montepulciano region.

As we arrived at the winery, we were immediately struck by its timeless charm and elegance. The centuries-old buildings, adorned with ivy and surrounded by vine-covered hills, exuded a sense of history and tradition.

Our tour began with a visit to the vineyards, where we learned about Avignonesi's commitment to sustainable and organic winemaking practices. Walking among the vines, we could feel the passion and dedication that went into each bottle of wine produced here.

But the ultimate experience awaited us in Avignonesi's stunning dining room, with its panoramic glass windows overlooking the vineyards and the Tuscan landscape beyond. Here, we were treated to the Grand Experience, a culinary extravaganza: a wine tasting paired with exquisite local dishes crafted by the winery's talented chef.

Each course was expertly matched with a different Avignonesi wine, enhancing the flavors and creating a symphony of tastes and aromas. From delicate bruschetta topped with fresh tomatoes and basil, to succulent roast lamb, every bite was a revelation.

We started our tasting journey with Il Marzoco, a crisp and refreshing white wine that danced on the palate with notes of citrus and tropical fruits. It was the perfect way to awaken our senses and prepare ourselves for the delights that lay ahead.

Next, we sampled the Rosso, a lively and expressive red wine that captured the essence of Tuscany in every sip. With its vibrant flavors of red berries, herbs, and spices, it was a true expression of the terroir.

Then came the crown jewel of Avignonesi's portfolio: the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Made from Sangiovese grapes grown in the heart of Montepulciano, this wine was a testament to the winery's dedication to excellence. Rich, complex, and full-bodied, it enveloped the palate with layers of dark fruit, earthy undertones, and velvety tannins.

As we continued our tasting journey, we were treated to the Grandi Annate, a wine of extraordinary elegance and finesse. With its harmonious blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet

Sauvignon, it offered a symphony of flavors, from ripe black cherry to cedar and tobacco.

The 50/50 followed, a bold and intense red wine that left a lasting impression with its deep ruby color and seductive aromas of blackberry, licorice, and leather.

But the pièce de résistance was yet to come: the Desiderio. This iconic wine, made from a selection of the best Sangiovese grapes, was a true masterpiece of winemaking. With its intense ruby color, complex bouquet, and long, lingering finish, it was a wine to be savored and cherished.

And then, as if to crown our tasting experience, we were presented with two of Avignonesi's meditation wines: the Vin Santo di Montepulciano and the Occio di Pernice. Sipping these precious elixirs, with their luscious sweetness and intoxicating aromas of honey, dried fruits, and spices, was like tasting a piece of history itself.

To accompany the Vin Santo wines, we indulged in a selection of exquisite desserts: chocolate fondant, rich and decadent, and aged cheese, creamy and tangy. Each bite was a perfect complement to the wines, enhancing their flavors and leaving us with a sense of contentment and satisfaction.

The unique Avignonesi recipe to produce the Occio di Pernice involves meticulous attention to detail and a traditional winemaking process. Sangiovese grapes are carefully selected and hand-harvested at optimal ripeness, then left to dry on straw mats in well-ventilated rooms for several months. This process concentrates the sugars and flavors in the grapes, resulting in a rich and luscious wine. After fermentation and aging in small oak barrels, the wine is further aged in bottle for an extended period of 9 years, allowing its complex flavors to develop and mature. The result is a rare and exquisite meditation wine with intense aromas of dried fruits, honey, and spices, and a velvety smooth texture that lingers on the palate.

As we sat back and watched the sun set over the vineyards, we couldn't help but feel grateful for the opportunity to experience the magic of Avignonesi Winery. It was a day filled with unforgettable moments, where wine, food, and friendship came together in perfect harmony, leaving us with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

See you soon for new experiences, 

FoodieNomad for TOURIS

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