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In the wine world the Tuscan coast equals Bolgheri and Sassicaia. No other wine has done as much to turn the lay-back beach side paradise south of Livorno into a famous wine growing region as the prestigious Sassicaia from Tenuta San Guido.

But whilst the rise of Supertuscans blended from French grape varieties may resemble a fairy tale story, it shouldn't keep you fro
m drinking Sangiovese wines in the smaller and lesser known wineries along the Tuscan shore. 

Wine cases at the tasting room of the Fontemorsi winery

Fontemorsi is one of them. Located near Montescudaio the Fontemorsi vineyard doesn't just produce according to organic standards but also makes affordable wines in an area where you wouldn't expect to come across any. Which isn't of minor importance for the cultural traveler in Tuscany and for the beachgoer or birdwatcher enjoying the Etruscan coast. Opening up a bottle of Sassicaia may be well worth your last month's salary, but not if that means you'll have to drink water for the remaining holiday. 

Founded by three friends who met a couple of decades ago, the idea of a shared winery on a Tuscan hill is as old as their friendship. The three young men went off to undertake different careers, but unlike me and my teenage friends managed to put their dream into reality at a later stage (not that it is a loss that the Duran Duran craving fantasies of my adolescent group never saw the light of the world). 

Wine tasting with Carlo Sanvitale from the Fontemorsi winery
Carlo, one of the three friends

The Fontemorsi winery is a short drive from Montescudaio and you could easily walk to and from town if you like to explore on foot. However, the winery also owns a tasting room and small wine cellar in Montescudaio's beautiful and - at least to me - somewhat Sicilian looking town center. So go for a stroll, do a bit of tasting and pack up a few cases to drink during your stay in Tuscany or to bring back home without having to cut your holiday short. Take that, Bolgheri!

No appointment needed for visits at the tasting room in Montescudaio in via della Madonna 33,  which during high season is open every afternoon from 3 pm to 8 pm (tastings in Italian, German and English). But call if you want to see the vineyards too (phone: +39 0583 349025) or organize a more in-depth tasting with food:(20 € per person for 5 wines and a small dinner, 14 € per person for 5 wines and Tuscan cheese and cold cuts)

Fontemorsi also rents out two small apartments on the winery premises. Lounge around the pool and observe the benefits of organic agriculture. Think meadows with wildflowers for the kids to play in and the welcome absence of pesticide spraying tractors whilst you work on your suntan. 

Exploring the Fontemorsi winery near Montescudaio
A spring walk in the hills of the Fontemorsi winery
The tasting room of the Fontemorsi winery in Montescudaio
Wine talk in Montescudaio

Different size bottle of Fontemorsi's top wine
A bottle for every budget

Wine cellar in Montescudaio
The renovated cement vaults in the wine cellar in Montescudaio 
Tuscan stone sink and wine glasses
Stylish simplicity at the tasting room

The town center of beautiful Montescudaio

Montescudaio's 'main' road
Washing day in Montescudaio

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