SUNSET TASTINGS IN BRUNELLO TOWN

Cypress trees and Tuscan hills at sunset
Sunset at the Palazzone winery


Tasting Brunello can be a daunting task, at least during the two hottest months of the year. When temperatures start to reach suffocating highs in July and August, only hard-core professionals will look forward to starting the day with a wine that often has an alcohol content of 14 % (let alone the even mightier Brunello Riserva). Most travelers would just ask for one more iced coffee, thank you, if it wasn't for, yes, Montalcino. 

At Il Palazzone - one of my top ten wineries to visit in Montalcino - Esther from Vino Vistas created a cool alternative to sticky Tuscan summer mornings spent spitting too warm wine: sunset tastings (I still can't believe that nobody has thought about it before!).

Swirl your wine at sundown and enjoy not just the gorgeous view but also a bit of a breeze. Montalcino isn't just known for Brunello, but also for its windy evenings, and you'll come to love them after a sizzling hot August day.




Tastings start around 7pm, depending on time of year/sunset. The winery is located five minutes from the town center. 
Book ahead as tastings are for private groups only (from 2 to 8 participants). Prices start from 30€ per person depending on the selection of wines chosen. To book the tour send an email to Esther (info@vino-vistas.com), the certified and extremely knowledgable wine guide who will lead you through the expert tasting. 
Looking for more info about the - Richard Parsons owned - Palazzone winery? Read on here

SUMMER WINE NOTES at Castiglion del Bosco

photos of Castiglion del Bosco winery
Summer Wine Notes at Castiglion del Bosco

The Castiglion del Bosco winery opens the doors of its luxury estate to the north-east of Montalcino for wine tastings and Jazz concerts during the summer of 2017. 

Enjoy golden hour at CdB with a glass of wine and good music or ask for a visit to the wine cellar. And if you're not convinced by music and vino alone, you may be interested to hear that Montalcino's top luxury hotel is owned by Massimo Ferragamo and Barack Obama played golf here during his time in Tuscany last May (he and Michelle stayed at Borgo Finocchieto not far from CdB).

Summer Wine Notes: July 21 and August 18, 2017
Castiglion del Bosco winery - 7pm to 9 pm. 
The tasting includes three wines - a Chardonnay and, of course, a Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino - and a buffet with Tuscan cold cuts, cheeses and starters. 
Prize per person: 25€. 
For details about the Jazz bands playing on the night have a look at Castiglion del Bosco's Facebook page

JAZZ & WINE 2017 - the 20 year anniversary

In the summer of 1999 I arrived in Montalcino as a young Swiss woman traveling on her own. I expected beautiful views, great wines and sultry summer nights - but I had no idea that those nights would be accompanied by the soundtrack of a young and little-known Jazz festival with an incredible lineup. 

Nearly two decades have passed and I'm still here, but many things have changed: I have two kids (with an Italian, of course), wrote a book - music plays a big part in it too - about a side of Tuscany that is hardly known and Italy has been stuck for years in an economic crisis which saw harsh cuts to the funding of the country's cultural life. However, the first music festival I ever attended in Tuscany is still here and still going strong. 

The program of Montalcino Jazz & Wine 2017



Founded in 1997, Montalcino Jazz & Wine celebrates its 20th anniversary this July. I'll be toasting along with lots of wine, as the week of world-class Jazz in Montalcino's medieval fortress has been making up for many a winter spent in the cultural void that comes with year round living in the Tuscan countryside.

New names and hightlights of the 2017 edition include Israeli pianist Yakir Arbib (on July 18 in the courtyard of Castello Banfi) and 2012 Grammy Award winner Robert Glasper (July 20 at the Fortezza in Montalcino). Bigband lovers won't want to miss out on the Tankio Band on July 13 and the Jazz & Wine Orchestra on July 19. The Roy Hargrove Quintet on July 21 doesn't need an introduction, just as Enrico Rava - the trumpeter is by now a household name in Montalcino (and at most other Italian jazz festivals), as is Italian pianist Danilo Rea, who, a few years ago has played one of my favorite concerts ever here. 

MONTALCINO JAZZ & WINE: July 6 to July 23, 2017

The loaction of the pre-festival - the first three concerts from July 6 to July 18 called 'Waiting for Jazz & Wine' - is the courtyard of the main sponsor, Montalcino's Castello Banfi winery (this venue is lovely, but small so make sure you book in advance). Also, it can get hot here, so dress lightly. 

The concersts of the main festival will all take place in Montalcino's airy fortress (sometimes airy equals very windy, so bring a jacket, just in case). 

Door opens at 9pm. Concerts start at 9.45pm. There is always space even for late arrivers at the fortress (Fortezza di Montalcino), but come early if you want a table up front.

Ticket reservation Montalcino Jazz & Wine 2017: 
Banfi winery +39 0577 840111 Email: marketing@banfi.it 
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