Tuscany offers the visitor some of the best wine in the world. From famous reds like Brunello di Montalcino to light and quaffable white wines like Vernaccia di San Gimignano. But which to try first?
Tuscany produces some of the most important red wines in the world. Tradition here is taken seriously, as is proven by the strict laws of classification. But it’s also open to change, as the arrival of Super Tuscans in the seventies. Above all, what makes Tuscan wine special, is the passion for the winemakers art mixed with literally centuries of experience.
If you’re looking for a ‘famous’ wine, you won’t be disappointed. One of Italy’s most prestigious wines, Brunello di Montalcino, is produced in the hilltop town of Montalcino, in the hills surrounding a lovely town south of Siena. This cult wine doesn’t come cheap, but the quality is outstanding. It’s a wine made with 100% Sangiovese grapes that with age becomes softer and more harmonic. It’s a wine to be enjoyed with food but also on its own.
Then of course there’s Chianti. A wine made famous in poetry and film, with a long history and a revered tradition. It’s the best wine to accompany Tuscan food, delicious with everything from meat to soups and cheeses. Top quality Chianti Classico is more expensive than the everyday Chianti varieties, but both are known for their quality and excellence.
In the Montepulciano area two great wines are produced: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Rosso di Montepulciano. The first one is a fine wine with a long history, medium-bodied and elegant, and worthy of ageing. The second one is a dry red, easy drinking and fresh.
Morellino di Sansano is a wine that comes from the Maremma area, near the sea. It’s made up of 50% Sangiovese and for the rest a mix of white and red grapes. It’s slightly tannic and dry, full-bodied, and goes well with meat and meaty sauces.
Bolgheri, in the province of Livorno, is home to the Super Tuscans, considered to be among the best wines in the world – showing outstanding quality and inventiveness. This is the more modern face of Tuscan wine making. Using different grapes varietals alongside the traditional Sangiovese, Super Tuscans are produced in small batches and fetch astronomical prices. With its variety of delicious white and red wines, a visit to Bolgheri is a must for every wine lover.
Last but not least there’s Carmignano, a wine with a long history that differentiates itself from the other traditional wines in its use of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with the local Sangiovese and Canaiolo. An intense and harmonic taste, with a flowery bouquet.
If you’d like to know more about Tuscan Red wines, have a look at our helpful article.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano is the most renowned Tuscan white wine, produced in the area around the famous Medieval town of San Gimignano. It’s the only white that has the prestigious DOCG classification. Light and dry, it becomes more harmonious with age, taking on a mineral scent of flint. Perfect to accompany pasta and rice dishes with white sauces, white meat, vegetables, fish and medium and soft cheeses.
Southern Tuscany offers us some great white wines: Bianco di Pitigliano, one of the ‘tufa towns‘ of the Maremma, produces a crisp wine with mineral and floral notes. It’s made with Trebbiano, the local traditional variety, and other varieties, including Malvasia and Sauvignon Blanc.
Another wine of the Maremma is the Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario, produced on the slopes of the hill overlooking the sea. Dry, slightly fruity, harmonic and bright, it’s perfect with fish but also the best wine to enjoy as an aperitivo.
The Vermentino grape is used for Candia dei Colli Apuani, Montecarlo and Bolgheri Bianco. It has a soft, flowery smell, and goes well with fish.
The famous Vin Santo (Holy wine) is the best wine to have with dessert. Usually produced using Trebbiano and Malvasia, it’s a very sweet wine with intense notes of honey and caramel. For a truly Tuscan experience, try it with the Cantuccini di Prato, the dry almond biscuits that are dipped in the wine.