CORTONA DOC: WINES WITH A PAST Nestled on a hilltop in spectacular rolling conutryside, Cortona is one of Italy’s prettiest hilltowns and most popular tourist destinations, boasting a history that stretches back to the earliest times. The same can be said of its wine-making tradition whose growth and development, over the centuries, have gone hand in hand with the evolution of the town and its surroundings. One of Etruria’s most powerful and infl uential “lucumonies” back in Etruscan times, Cortona can often be found in classical sources such as the writings of Greek and Latin authors such as Herodotus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Livy and Pliny the Elder. Dominating the (then as now) fertile Valdichiana, the town saw major growth between the 8th and the 7th century b.C. Having survived through the centuries, the impressive 7th and 6th century burial mounds (tumuli) uncovered in the nearby hamlet of Sodo and the wealth of archaeological fi nds on display at the MAEC museum (including the Cortona bronze chandelier whose beauty was celebrated by Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio in one of his three sonnets dedicated to the “Cities of Silence”), stand as enduring and signifi cant testimony to the power and wealth enjoyed by the Etruscan princes. Cortona Doc: commited to promoting the wine-making heritage of Valdichiana The area where grapes suitable for the production of “Cortona” DOC wines are grown is comprised in the Arezzo province and also includes quality-oriented wine-estates located in the administrative territory of the Cortona municipality. Currently, over 300 hectares of vineyards are devoted to the production of quality DOC wines; however, further growth potential can be expected. Production fi gures for Cortona DOC wines stand at about 1 milion bottles a year. The Cortona DOC covers a wide range of wine styles; however, Syrah, Merlot and Sangiovese account for the lion’s share of the production. Established in the year 2000 with a view to control and safeguard the wines made under the label, the Consozio di Tutela currently includes 45 producers and 28 bottlers. Other activities carried out by the Consorzio include cultural and outreach initiatives aiming to promote the Cortona DOC wines on the national and international stage.