Montalcino is a commune in Tuscany, which is famous for its wine the Brunello di Montalcino. The town of Montalcino is a small medieval village located about 564 metres (1,850 ft) above sea level in the province of Siena.
Brunello is a diminutive of Bruno ("brown"), which is the name that was given to what was believed to be a local grape variety. But already at the end of the 19th century Siena's Amphelographic Commission determined that the grape was in fact San Giovese and not a distinct variety. The name remained and evolved into a regional designation.
In 1980, Brunello di Montalcino was awarded the first Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG).
Montalcino has one of the warmest and driest climates in Tuscany. Here Northern vineyards produce considerably racier and more aromatic wines than the hotter Southern vineyards and most of the top producers have vineyards of both exposures achieve the style of the house through blending the two.
A vast range in soils spans limestone, clay, marl, schist and volcanic soils and gives rise to a range of quality levels that have led to some arguing for a subzone classification on labels.
Vineyards in Montalcino are planted in varied soils-including limestone, clay, schist, volcanic soil and a crumbly marl known as galestro-at altitudes ranging from 149 m to 500 m. This diversity in terroir contributes to the vast range in quality and complexity of Brunello di Montalcino.
Brunello is made from 100% San Giovese. After extended marceration the wine spends a minimum of three years "in-botte"& dash large Slavonian oak casks that impart no oak flavor. Some producers use French oak instead, or a mix of the two.