BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
Updated: Apr 4
Brunello di Montalcino is a red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino, in the province of Siena, in the Tuscany wine region. Brunello, a diminutive of Bruno ("brown"), is the name that was given locally to what was believed to be an individual grape variety grown in Montalcino. In 1879 the Province of Siena's Amphelographic Commission determined, after a few years of controlled experiments, that Sangiovese and Brunello were the same grape variety, and that the former should be its designated name. In Montalcino the name Brunello evolved into the designation of the wine produced with 100% Sangiovese.
By the end of World War II, Brunello di Montalcino had developed a reputation as one of Italy's rarest wines. The only commercial producer recorded in government documents was the Biondi-Santi firm, which had declared only four vintages up to that point—1888, 1891, 1925, and 1945.
In 1980, Brunello di Montalcino was among the four wines awarded the first Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation. Today it is one of Italy's best-known and most expensive wines, and can be consumed today.