Sunny Tuscany’s vineyards
Discover the sunniest region of Italy, the special features of Sangiovese, and the amazing wines of Tuscany. I want to show you with my own eyes the magic and passion that this region has to offer. Great places to taste fine wine, pecorino cheese, dried meat and discover the untouched medieval villages with their priceless atmosphere.
Journey to the heart of italy
Wine has been a part of the Tuscan civilization for more than 3,000 years. Since the ancient Etruscans settled in the rolling hills of Tuscany, viticulture, and wine production have been an integral part of everyday life and even considered mystical. Like the ancient Greeks, the vine and olive tree was the mainstay of the Etruscan diet and were considered sacred life-saving plants. These days, when doctors are constantly finding new evidence of the health benefits of wine and olive oil, the great irony is that the Etruscans realized this several thousand years ago!
Wine-making in Tuscany developed over the centuries, and new methods were introduced by the Romans, Christian monks in the Middle Ages, and wealthy aristocrats in the Renaissance. Some famous Tuscan wines, such as the Nobile di Montepulciano wine, became popular outside of Italy from the 16th century, William III and Jonathan Swift adored it.
Tuscany is a much larger region than many people think, and it includes many different wine regions and climate types. The only thing that unites most regions is the choice of grape varieties. Overall, Sangiovese is the dominant red variety, while Trebbiano is the dominant white variety. The northwest of Tuscany is mountainous and famous for the beautiful Apuan Alps, the San Pellegrino water source, and the marble quarries that Michelangelo himself visited to create his sculptures.
The climate in the north is continental with hot summers and frosty winters. In addition, in Northern Tuscany, the medieval fortress city of Lucca is one of the most beautiful places in Italy. The wine is made in the hills around Lucca, going to a village called Montecarlo, and the wine road is called Strada del Vino. To the south of Chianti lie the hilltop towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano and the corresponding DOCG Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Here, especially in montalcino, you can find some of italy's most aristocratic estates, producing ome of the most upscale and most expensive wines in the country.
Montepulciano - fine traditions of winemaking
A charming Tuscan town, often referred to as "miniature Florence" for its combination of beautiful churches, fine art, and architecture, and vibrant cafe culture, Montepulciano has long been known as the birthplace of wines enjoyed by the nobility in centuries past (hence the name "vino nobile"). Popes, poets, and politicians were the first to glorify the region's wines, but its popularity has remained thanks to the spicy flavors and balanced acidity of the wines.
Perhaps the least well-known of Tuscany's "big three" DOCG (which also includes Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino), Montepulciano is famous for both its wines and its delightful nature. About 2,500 acres are planted with vines, most of which grow a local Sangiovese variety called Prugnolo, which indicates its prune-like shape, color, and aroma. Do not confuse the wines produced here with the Montepulciano grape variety, which is ubiquitous throughout southern and central Italy, especially in the Abruzzi region.
Montalcino — the brightest sangiovese in the region
A beautiful Tuscan hilltop town, Montalcino is considered the birthplace of Tuscany's most complete and rich wine: the aged Brunello di Montalcino. This dense, strong red wine is among the most prestigious and sought-after wines in the world, making its vineyards one of the very first DOCG awards ever awarded in Italy.
A visit to this region with its hillside vineyards, ancient villages, and luxurious wines is a must for any true wine connoisseur. The terraces facing the hillsides are one of the most distinctive features of this beautiful countryside, providing the perfect backdrop for exploring the wineries.
Although the DOCG is just outside Chianti Classico and just 100 kilometers south of Florence, Brunello di Montalcino is warmer and drier than the Chianti vineyards, with cool nights that provide ventilation. These mild Mediterranean conditions allow the Sangiovese Grosso (aka Brunello) variety to ripen to perfection, often with an alcohol content of 14 percent or more, although this region is usually the first to start harvesting in September.
The wines produced here are considered richer and darker than their cousins in Chianti - the name means "pleasant dark wine" in the local dialect - and they go well with the juicy, rich dishes of the Tuscan countryside, such as wild rabbit stew, pasta or red meat.
From the very beginning, Brunello di Montalcino was developed as a wine with a long shelf life, which was subjected to prolonged fermentation and aged for many years in oak barrels to turn it into an intense wine with bright tannins. Even the century-old wines here can be amazing.