“Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of the legendary wine regions in Tuscany and one of the first to get the DOCG designation, the highest in the Italian wine hierarchy.”
As for all ancient stories, one cannot be sure of everything, but, given the importance of the Contucci family in the following centuries, it seems likely that they were already living in the centre of Montepulciano by the year 1000. The family crest represented by a rearing unicorn to symbolise pride and truth.
In 1300 some of the family’s members, like Giacomo, were already Standard Bearers for the city, an honour only given to members of important families, because of the heavy expenses attached to the position.
In 1434 Contuccio was as a great honour, made a citizen of Florence; in 1542 Giulio Cesare and in 1586 Francesco were Standard Bearers. Ottaviano became the commander of Cosimo's army and died gloriously on 5th December 1594.
In the 17th century it is worth remembering Giulio, doctor of civil and church rights at Pisa University; Arcangiolo commander of the army of the Grand Duke Ferdinando II; Gregorio, who, besides being Standard Bearer in 1612, was also "Alfiere delle Corazze" of Christina of Lorena.
In 1700 the jesuit Contuccio was rector of the Study of Rethoric and responsable for the Kircheriano Museum in Rome.
As far back as the Renaissance the Contucci family were cultivating the grape and by 1700 this activity of theirs' was much appreciated. In fact they were one of the "founding fathers" of Vino Nobile, as is documented in 1773; having a major role in making it world famous: "a noble wine destined for the table of nobles".
By 1800 the fame of their wine was demonstrated by numerous medals and testimonials, which they had won. The building of the Contucci cellars took place before the mansion of the same name, which was once inhabited by Pope Giulio III and the by the Grand Duke Ferdinand I. The mansion was built by Antonio Sangallo the older and painted internally with affrescoes by Andrea Pozzo. One can therefore say that both house and cellars were built in the XIII century and were part of the old inner walls of Montepulciano.
These vineyards are situated in one of the best zones of production in the area, at a height of between 280 and 450 metres. The soil is mostly pliocenica in origin mixed with some clay and sand. The vines, only local varieties (Prugnolo Gentile, Canaiolo nero, Mammolo, Colorino, Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasìa del Chianti and Grechetto) are raised at Spurred Cordon and are planted at a density of about 3.300/4.000 plants per hectares with a limited yield (less than 55 quintals per hectares) which permits the use of the very best quality grapes.