Tuscany is one of Italy's most internationally famous wine regions. Situated in the centre of Italy, this region is known for its rich history, its beautiful landscapes, its gastronomy and above all its excellent wines. Wine growing is abundant throughout the entire region, most of which is hilly. Actually, Tu...
Tuscany is one of Italy's most internationally famous wine regions. Situated in the centre of Italy, this region is known for its rich history, its beautiful landscapes, its gastronomy and above all its excellent wines. Wine growing is abundant throughout the entire region, most of which is hilly. Actually, Tuscan wines have 11 DOCG, 41 DOC and 6 IGT!
The history of wine in Tuscany goes back to the 8th century B.C., imported by the Greeks who began to plant Vitis Vinifera. The Etruscans, having lived on the territory before being absorbed by the Roman Empire, discovered the intoxicating properties of wine and made the vines one of their greatest agricultural crops. The Etruscans were already exporting the nectar from southern Italy to Gaul! Since then the passion for wine by the Tuscan people has never stopped and has even become a fundamental part of their culture.
In 1716 the first "Denominazione di Origine Controllata" (Denomination of Controlled Origin) was created. Grand Duke Cosimo III imposed that certain appellations such as Chianti and Carmignano be strictly produced in traditional geographical areas, giving a historical and then worldwide turn to Tuscan wine.
Known for its famous undulating, sunny, vast and enchanting landscapes, Tuscany is a great region in every sense of the word. Composed mainly of hills (66.5%), this geographical area is ideal for the cultivation of vines, which are planted over a very large part of the hilly territory (up to 800m altitude).
There are four main types of terroirs in this area, namely :
Sandy, giving the wine a lot of perfume but a lighter structure.
Rich in tuff, offering more body and intensity.
Clay and limestone, giving great aromatic complexity and more subtle fragrances.
Chalky and fertile, producing wines with a higher alcoholic content.
The typical and most characteristic grape variety of this region is the Sangiovese. It represents more than 60% of the vineyards. Alongside this grape variety we also find international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. These varieties are used in the vinification process with or without Sangiovese for the production of "Super-Tuscan" wines.
In the 1940s, the Marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, fascinated by Bordeaux wines, planted Cabernet Sauvignon in the Bolgheri region. Until the 1967 vintage, the wine was drunk with family and a few connoisseur friends. 1968 was the first vintage marketed under the appellation «Sassicaia - Vino da Tavola ». Since then, the rules have become more flexible and have gradually allowed international grape varieties in the production of Tuscan wines. As a general rule, a Super-Tuscan, like many of Italy's premium wines, is now found under the Toscana IGT appellation, while some have obtained their own denomination such as Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC.
Sangiovese reigns over the Tuscan grape varieties. It is used in the vinification of several wines, including the most prestigious such as Carmignano DOCG, Chianti Classico DOCG, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Morellino di Scansano DOCG and many others that are less well known but just as exquisite. It has a strong capacity to adapt to the different terroirs present in the Tuscan territory. It produces slightly tannic, fruity wines with good acidity and ruby colours.
International grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah have acclimatised very well and have taken a leading role in the production and blending of Tuscan Grand Crus. It should be noted that the first traces of Cabernet Sauvignon date back to 1716 in official historical documents. These authorised the use of Cabernet Sauvignon, then imported by the Medici family, in the production of Carmignano wine.
Trebbiano is the most widely grown white grape variety in Italy, especially in Tuscany, Abruzzo, Lazio and Umbria. It is known in France as Ugni Blanc. It can be characterised by high productivity, but when it finds its terroir, it can produce great wines. We would like to mention here Vin Santo del Chianti DOC, a sweet wine produced with dried grapes from Trebbiano and Malvasia.
The grape Vernaccia di San Gimignano (DOCG) is a grape variety that produces a dry straw-yellow wine with a nice intensity and fruitiness in the mouth.
The main producers :
Tenuta San Guido