Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of the oldest wines of Italy. It's a flavourful dry red wine with the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita status produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montepulciano, near Siena.
The wine is made primarily from the Sangiovese grape varietal (known locally as Prugnolo gentile-gentle Prugnolo), minimum 70%, and it may be joined up to 30% by other authorized varieties. The wine is aged in oak barrels for 2 years and three years if it is a Riserva.
The oldest documented reference to the wine of Montepulciano dates back to 789. In 1530 Sante Lancerio, the cellarman of Pope Paul III, defined Vino Nobile di Montepulciano "Perfectissimo". In 1685 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is also mentioned by the poet Francesco Redi in "Bacco in Toscana". Redi wrote: