During our four days in Pienza, we took several day trips in the car out to the surrounding towns. The nice people at La Bandita helped us set up several things including a private visit to Máté Winery and a visit to a working farm (covered in a later post).
Máté winery is near the town of Montalcino so it was easy to combine our visit there into an outing to both at the same time. Máté Winery grows Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah grapes on their 15 acres. The winery is owned by Ferenc Máté, a respected writer, and his wife Candace who is a painter. Their wines are very well reviewed by the likes of Wine Spectator and other sites and magazines. The property is stunning and includes a 13th-century friary which the couple restored.
We enjoyed tasting a few of the wines they had available and walking around the gorgeous property. While the region is known for its Brunello wines, I found I enjoyed their Syrah the most.
After the winery, it was time to head off through the hills and into the town of Montalcino where we had lunch at a place called Caffe Alle Logge di Piazza. They offered nice fresh salads, several kinds of pasta, and a great wine selection with a view (from the inside, over the valley and from outside, of a small piazza).
From Montalcino, it’s about a 45-minute drive to the slightly larger town of Montepulciano which is on the other side of Pienza. There, we stopped on the outside of town to check out the beautiful church of St Biagio.
We parked on the outside of town (the roads are narrow and steep) and walked into the center.
The main square was gearing up for some sort of event or festival but we were able to check out the local church and walk around the winding streets a bit before heading back to Pienza.
Once again, the views of the countryside from the top of town are stunning.