Established as recently as 1961 and a byword for quality in Montepulciano since the early 1980s, Poliziano’s story nonetheless taps into the history and culture of this picture-postcard corner of Tuscany – and it must be one of very few to feature both a Renaissance poet and a mule.

The name Poliziano is a tribute to the 15th century Florentine scholar Angelo Ambrogini, a prolific translator of classical works and a tutor to the children of the Medici (some even believe he may have been poisoned by Piero de’ Medici). His ‘nickname,’ Poliziano, is a simple reference to his birthplace – Montepulciano was originally Mons Politianus in Latin.

The cultural significance goes beyond mere history, however, and embodies a winery combining modern techniques with a rare respect for heritage. The mid-90s saw a move from big wood to barriques and tonneaux for flagship wine Asinone, whose vineyard was the first in the region to undergo specialist replanting, foresaking the old technique of interspersing Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese) vines with Trebbiano and Malvasia.

The Prugnolo here is extremely distinctive, combining compact bunches with firm skins to produce a Vino Nobile of unique character and longevity. And why Asinone? The vineyard gets its name from its shape, said to resemble the back of a mule.