In the rolling Tuscan countryside, only a few miles down La Strada di Vino Nobile, you will find one of Montepulciano’s crown jewels, La Ciarliana winery.
La Ciarliana is a small, family run boutique winery, gently positioned on approximately 22 acres, that produces some very, very notable Vino Nobile wines.
The founder of La Ciarliana was Santo Pellegrino Frangiosa, who was born and raised on the podere (farm), just a stone’s throw from centro Montepulciano. Santo Pellegrino was one of the first wine pioneers in the valley to plant the famed Prugnolo gentile, otherwise known as Sangiovese, in the early 1960’s. Thirty-five years later, grandson Luigi Frangiosa inherited the family wine estate. Under Luigi’s careful guise, intensive soil studies were done and the vineyards were replanted with Sangiovese clones, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and other local red varietals.
I had the pleasure of meeting Luigi and his lovely sister Gessica for a private wine tasting and cellar tour in March. Luigi was delightful –he was easy going, kind and humble, speaking slowly in Italian, with a twinkle in his eyes.
The tour was very unique in that it was conducted mostly in Italian by Luigi himself, with translation by Gessica. At one point in the tour, we were at a loss for words for a specific wine making method, so Luigi pulled out his Italian-English Wine Dictionary! It was a most memorable afternoon filled with laughs and good stories.
What could be better than drinking wine and playing Italian charades? [Read more…]