Though it often falls in the shadows of neighboring Chiantis, Brunello, or Super Tuscans, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was the first DOCG wine to appear on the Italian market. A favorite amongst influential Italian Kings, Popes, and Presidents, the wine has been celebrated throughout history as ‘the wine of the nobles‘ (hence its name).
Founded in 1998, the Icario winery is located on the northern side of the town of Montepulciano, also known as the “pearl of the Renaissance”, amongst the rolling hills of southern Tuscany’s Siena region. In 2015, the estate was bought by the German businessman Helmut Rothenberger and is now part of the Rothenberger Holding based in Anif, Austria. With a string passion for wines and Tuscany, the Rothenberger family set out to offer the best possible expression of the land.
The name of the winery pays tribute to the ancient Greek legend of Dionysus, God of wine (Bacchus for the Romans), who gave an Athenian named Icarius the gift of vine and wine as a reward for his generous hospitality and entrusted him with the task of spreading the culture of wine among men. More mythological references can be found in the logo: a reference to an Etruscan tile with a bas-relief of a winged horse with the tail of a triton that was discovered near Montepulciano, a probable reference to the mythical origins of Pegasus.
Icario’s estate stretches over 51 ha, 25 of these are vineyards surrounding the winery, with breathtaking views of the Val di Chiana valley. The logo depicts a Pegasus, the mythical winged divine horse, with Triton tail The vineyards are arranged as an amphitheater divided into two macro areas: the largest part of the vineyard, planted to Sangiovese (locally known as prugnolo gentile) sits high at 400 – 450 meters above sea level and characterized by the presence of tuff and sand. This part is also always very windy (the so-called ‘Icario breeze’) which helps with managing the heat. The lowest part of the vineyard at 300 meters a.s.l has a richer percentage of clay and is planted to Colorino and other notable grape varieties as allowed in the blend. Tuff and sand are optimal to enhance the finesse and elegance of the wine, while the land in greater presence of clay enrich the wine with structure and body.
Icario is where wine-making meets Italian architecture, and where the respect for the environment perfectly combines with design: completely integrated into the landscape, the winery was designed with the aim of keeping mechanical assistance to a minimum. The entire winery was built with natural materials using expedients to achieve constant optimal temperatures in the cellar area. Organic practices are used allowing for a drastic reduction in chemical sprays and water usage in the vineyard (full organic certification is expected in 2023).
Since 2018, renowned oenologist Franco Bernabei leads the wine-making team. Sameness and typicality have no place in Bernabei’s approach to wine-making. His team craft unique wines of character in their state-of-the-art winery, using stainless steel and high-grade oak.
Learn more at www.icario.it
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The new winery was completed in 2008 and designed to be perfectly integrated with the environment.
The estate owns 25 hectares of vineyards in an amphitheatre layout surrounding the winery, at an altitude of 450mt with breathtaking views of the Valdichiana valley.
The The vineyards are in conversion to organic to be completed by 2023.
A breathtaking view of the Val DiChiana
The stunning design with the glass floor ove the cellar