Source: Montepulciano c. 1900   Leave a comment

The following comes from Hewlett’s The Road in Tuscany, published just over a century ago. Montepulciano was already a dominant Tuscan wine, though Hewlett was sceptical. SY

Men went muffled to the ears in fox-skin; boys blew on their fingers and trotted after us. Every one was active, on the jog; the caffé doors were not generously open, the wine-shops shut-to theirs with a snap as the topers pushed in or came huddling out. Your glimpses of the far-off country were of purple-black hills; gloom lay in the valley, here and there showed a house, pale as a ghost. A dust of snow came scudding over the way. You saw the far-stretching vista of the hill-street peppered in whirling white. And this was May! And this was Italy! Stern, stern is the spring in Montepulciano; but I gather from what I have seen since that the summer is yet more fierce. And yet, out of the chance vantages of their crags, they grow, or did grow, a fine red wine which Redi calls the king of all the Tuscan vast. They are said to have been famous for it from the ninth century, and Mr. Addington Symonds liked it: my bottle, perhaps, was of a poor year. Assuredly, if Bacchus in Tuscany requires to blink unhindered at the sun, this is the place for him; for of late I have seen the whole bare rock quivering under canicular heat – cliffs, houses, roofs, and steeples all pale and hot as metal. You know all extremes of weather when you are so close to the sky.

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Posted December 21, 2010 by zachmon in Uncategorized

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