Towards the end of winter in the midst of February, Brunello town wakes up from hibernation. For two reasons:
- pruning: the vineyards are still resting, so it's high time to move in there with secateurs in hand to get things back into shape before spring is running havoc.
- Benvenuto Brunello: Montalcino's most important event presents the freshly released Brunello - just count back five years to know which vintage will be on show (and six for Brunello Riserva). The three days of tasting at the end of February bring the most important wine writers into town. In fact journalists, bloggers and wine critiques are flocking all through Tuscany, since during the same week the anteprima (preview or rather pretaste) of the Chianti Classico aka black rooster wines takes place in Florence and the one of Vino Nobile in Montepulciano.
GOOD TO KNOW Benvenuto Brunello is organized every February by Montalcino's vintner association. The event is open to journalists and trade only. However, in the unlikely case that you find yourself travelling Tuscany in February, visit one of Montalcino's vineyards and ask whether they happen to have an invitation to spare.
LOCATION: The wine fair takes place in and around the cloister of Sant'Agostino, and also gives you access to Montalcino's lovely museum (the perfect cultural break to sober up).
WEATHER: Bring a warm coat. You may be able to have your coffee outside in the winter sun, but snow is no surprise guest in Montalcino in February.