Montepulciano is the name of the third most widely planted grape variety in Italy. It is also the name of a town in Tuscany famous for producing a Sangiovese-based blend called “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.” Ironically, there is very little of the Montepulciano grape planted in Tuscany. American consumers often confuse the grape variety Montepulciano with the Sangiovese blends produced in the town of Montepulciano. Both can be great wines, but they are different wines from different grapes grown in different regions.
Montepulicano in California
Relatively new to California, there are about 110 acres of Montepulciano planted. At McEvoy Ranch, we have a small planting atop our windiest ridge in a vineyard called “Il Poggio”.
Despite the morning fog and intense afternoon winds from the Petaluma Gap, the vines have thrived and produce grapes with very interesting fruit flavors and robust tannins that have played a role in our Red Piano red blend.
In 2014, we had a great harvest in both quality and quantity. It was the perfect vintage to bottle the Montepulciano on its own for the first time. We will continue bottling an estate Montepulciano whenever the vintage allows. Due to our climate and soil types differing from the Italian regions, has a different complexity and refinement. It is uniquely Californian from the cool hills of Marin County and the Petaluma Gap.