Our story stretches way back into the past. And probably a long way up too… It is, in fact, Mount Amiata which dictated our land’s time frames. The first traces of our history are to be found in an early painting in so-called Grotta dell’Arciere, dating from 5000 to 3000 BC, but it is with the Etruscans that the region’s development began. On the border between northern and southern Etruria and visible all over Etruria, the now extinct volcano Amiata represents both community and religious site par excellence. Its very name seems to be traceable to Tiniatus, after Tinia, the greatest of the Etruscan divinities and later Roman Jupiter. With the rise to power of the Romans, its sulphurous waters made it an important spa bath destination, as well as a religious site. The Longobards arrived in the 6th century AC and set up the Benedictine abbey of San Salvatore, controlling Via Francigena, linking Rome and northern Europe. Later colonisation by the monks led to the initial castle building phase in the area: Aldobrandesca fortress in Arcidosso, Campagnatico and Roccalbegna fortresses, castles in Porrona, Monte Antico, Potentino and Colle Massari and the Vicarello papal fort are just some of the fortifications built over the centuries to defend
land, a clear sign of the area’s historic strategic importance. It later passed under Sienese control, and Amiata was accorded a new role with the Medici family, who ruled the area at length. The nineteenth century was marked by the discovery of minerals to be mined, and this phase continued for more than one hundred years. When the mines closed – leaving traces in a number of museums – the area converted to top quality farm and developed as well an excellent farm holiday hotel network.
It is within this profoundly traditional context that vine growing developed. From the starting point of the Etruscans, whose wine growing techniques have been rediscovered and reproduced, vines and wine have been our people’s life companions over the years, colouring our fields, laying our tables and giving us our livelihood and trade which, initially local and confined to grapes, now supplies certified wines to every corner of the world. In this sense, a landmark was the 1970s recognition of the two geographic denominations in our area, the forerunners of DOC Montecucco, which took definitive shape when the 1998 Designation of Origin was awarded it.
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