Wie ervan droomt een wijngaard in Toscane te beginnen en daar geen miljoenen aan kwijt wil zijn, kan nu z’n slag slaan. In Montepulciano kost een hectare goed 100.000 euro. In het naburige Montalcino is de prijs 5 x zo hoog. De kwaliteit van de Nobile de Montepulciano is de laatste jaren op een aanmerkelijk hoger niveau gekomen. De vraag blijft desondanks of er uit zo’n wijngaard ooit dikke winsten komen, met zulke befaamde buren.
Michaella Moris verkende de situatie voor Meininger:
For anyone who has ever dreamed of owning a winery in Tuscany, now is the time to buy in Montepulciano. A mere €100,000.00 ($107,315.00) per hectare can buy you an established vineyard. Compare this with neighbouring Montalcino, where €500,000.00 per hectare is the going rate, or Chianti Classico, where prices are reported to be €350,000.00 to €450,000.00.
The spread between land price in Montepulciano and Montalcino has not been lost on the business savvy. “There are companies making big investments because the real estate value is quite low but the potential is great,” says Nicolò De Ferrari Corradi of the esteemed Boscarelli estate. “The area has a long history of production.” Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was among Italy’s original DOCs in 1966 and the first to be released with DOCG status with the 1980 vintage. It is a much more historical wine than Brunello; it was cited more than 2,000 years ago by Titus Livius in his History of Rome; later praised by Voltaire in his opus Candide; and favoured by Thomas Jefferson.
The region’s prestige is what drove Switzerland’s Schenk group to purchase Azienda Lunadoro in April 2016. “Schenk has been going upmarket for the past 15 years,” explains François Schenk. “We needed to have a premium flagship in Italy and Tuscany is a must!” The company looked in both Montalcino and Montepulciano, but “Lunadoro had it all: healthy vineyards with the right clones, modern winery, and a skilled winemaker,” Schenk says. The 40-ha property boasts 12 ha of Vino Nobile with an additional 18 ha soon to be planted.
Despite past glories and perceived potential, Vino Nobile is not without its challenges. The obvious confusion between the town of Montepulciano – which gives the region its name – and Abruzzo's Montepulciano grape is ongoing. Furthermore, the brand of Vino Nobile is blurred by a large diversity of expression due in part to a relatively low minimum percentage of Sangiovese (70%) with a long list of blending grapes within a heterogeneous territory. Brunello offers a much stronger identity.