Capanna Winery tour in Tuscany, Montalcino

I was mentioning our Brunello di Montalcino tasting tours in the previous article on our trip to Montalcino, Tuscany. Now I would like to write a series of few small articles about the wine tasting in each winery we’ve been. Alexandra Adamek, our sommelier host and founder of Select Tasting, gave us the tour and briefly introduced us into the world of Brunello di Montalcino.

The first was a pleasant surprise for us, Capanna winery, were Alexandra took us on a sunny afternoon. For tourists or “untrained noses”, Capanna could be one of the small wineries that could fade among the much more famous Casanova di Neri, Biondi Santi, etc. yet, we discovered a wonderful choice of Brunello di Montalcino and gained more insight into the Sangiovese grapes. Capanna produces though other wines than Brunello as well (Rosso -Baby Brunello, Moscadello, Pinot Grigio, etc) at a stunning value for money.

Alexandra mentioned that at a blind tasting of red wines, their Brunello Riserva 2010 (the Brunello that we can find on sale only on January of the 6th year after the harvest ) was the 2nd place situated right after the “Ferrari of Brunello’s” – Casanova di Neri. Of course this  information together with the view of the winery itself, the landscape, amplified the taste of the wines we tasted. But this is actually how wine is enjoyed, isn’t it? It has to be associated to other positive emotions to be a great experience and get its taste amplified.

Yesterday, we were watching the SOMM Part II, a documentary opening our eyes to the labor, the history, the culture, and even the emotions that lie behind every great bottle of wine—the story, in other words, behind the bottles of wine. It was mentioned that there’s never been made great wine in ugly areas, it’s a matter of energies; great wine goes hand in hand with amazing landscapes and beautiful wineries, in the sense of energy.

The Capanna winery, situated in Montosoli hill-probably the best sub-area in the North of Montalcino is run by the Cencioni family, who pours the Tuscan ancestral knowledge straight into these complex wines.

Visiting the spectacular Capanna vineyard offers the opportunity to discover the unique micro climate and soil that nourish the Sangiovese Grosso for Brunello di Montalcino, while it lets you relish its fascinating landscape. Here we learned about: the pruning of the grapes (which guarantees a high quality product even in less favorable years), the selection of grapes during the harvest, the careful wine making at controlled temperatures, long aging in oak barrels/Croatian barrels for their lack of aromas. Brunello producers do not like aromatic woods for their wines and the selection. Alexandra taught us how to “read” the wines: color, body, structure, nose, taste and we checked as well for the key components in wines that give the balance: the minerality, the acidity, the tannins on one hand and the alcohol, the softness and the sugar on the other hand.

The view from the winery

Capanna sequenza 01immagine014

photo credit: Capanna Montalcino

Capanna under the Tuscan sun

winetasting tour La Capanna

With our sommelier, Alexandra Adamek, Select Tasting Montalcino



“An area of about 12 hectares is cultivated as a vineyard, and the other 11 hectares as an olive-grove. Its magnificent position and the stony soil, together with the dry and airy climate, allows Capanna to form a Brunello wine that is graceful and elegant, suitable for a long maturing process. In fact, only a part of the production (aged for four years in Slavonian oak barrels) is destined to become Brunello DOCG, while the other part becomes Rosso di Montalcino DOC (after a maturing process of two years) or Rosso da Tavola (a red table wine). During the best vintage years the best Brunello barrels are destined for Riserva and bottled after five years. When bottled, the wine is also refined for a few months.” text taken from IN VINO

Capanna Winery tour

Capanna wine making

Capanna bicchiere-brunello-montalcino

photo credit: Capanna Montalcino

We tasted:

capanna-pinot grigio

Pinot Grigio Sant’Antimo 2015 – light- bodied, a delicate white wine, is a natural pairing for light dishes such as starters or fish or mushrooms. A wine you can find on sale after 6-8 months from the harvest.


Rosso di Montalcino 2014 – a very good Rosso, medium body, with tobacco, cherries and spices in evidence a bit tannic and young, needing a couple of more years in the basement. I think one year in a basement would improve it but it is drinkable now: remember that Rosso di Montalcino is not a meditation wine and needs food to balance. Pasta with meat ragu is a perfect match. This wine needs its 15 up to 18 months to age in the cellar.


Capanna Sant Antimo 2010 – I found dried fruits, cinnamon and strong and powerful tannins. When you say strong and powerful tannins people would not really like to try it: maybe quite tannic would be more accurate?


The Brunello di Montalcino 2010, dense, dark and brooding with a bouquet of fruit-forward tones.

The vinification and ageing process is really interesting: Alcoholic fermentation with maceration of the skins (30-35 days) at a controlled temperature and spontaneous malolactic fermentation, both in Slavonian oak vats (where it stays for 6-8- months). It will age in Slavonian oak casks for over 36-38 months followed by ageing in bottles for at least 6 months. Only January of the 5th year from harvest it is available on sale.


The Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010, a dark red toned with aromas of black cherry, licorice and mint, densly packed with a suggestion of minerality. It finished with serious tannins and excellent lift. It may be paired with beef, pork, game (deer, venison), mature and hard cheese and poultry. The Reserva needs a complex food with long persistency it is perfect with meat if you add truffles to it 🙂 I would avoid poultry. Hard mature pecorino cheese with honey is also perfect together. You can have the chance to taste a Riserva only the January of the 6th year after the harvest. The Riserva 2010 has been Crowned by Vini Buoni D’Italia.

Alexandra Adamek sommelier

Alexandra Adamek, sommelier at Select Tasting in Montalcino: “Capanna stays high among the local people and the connoisseur’s opinion for their quality wines. What they miss here is just the marketing bigger wineries can afford. And believe me that sometimes the points (aka Parker) you receive for your Brunello are also linked with it. There are many small wineries in Montalcino and the quality can be quite different between them however Capanna is always a synonym of a well done job. The Cencioni family was one of the founders of Consorzio di Brunello back in the 70’s and Patrizio is reelected the President of Consorzio again. “

A lovely afternoon, with so many things learnt, so many flavors on the palate.”

Capanna after the tasting

Capanna the vineyards


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