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The wine in Tuscany: Chianti, Val d’Elsa, Val d’Orcia

There are many ways in which to fall in love with Tuscany, not the least of which is through the region’s wonderful wines, or its landscape, its people, its food, and its art. It is one of the Italian best places for gourmets and wine buffs who come here to taste the simple yet wonderful cuisine and wine. Wine runs deep in Tuscany, it is part of the cultural identity of this central Italian region. “The big three”, grapevines, olive trees and wheat, represent the lifestyle and essence of Tuscany.

Chianti is the hilly area between Florence, Siena, Arezzo and Pisa… Always been considered “The heart of Tuscany“. It is a succession of splendid landscapes marked by dense vineyards, chestnut, oak and holm oak woods, suggestive medieval villages, romantic castles and charming farmhouses.

The name “Chianti” is synonymous of excellent wine all around the world. This territory has been producing wine since the time of the Etruscans, but only in the nineteenth century was registered as DOC (Controlled Denomination of Origin) product. In 1716, Grand Duke Cosimo III de’Medici demarcated the first Chianti wine zone, now known as Chianti Classico. Fast forward two centuries and production had grown throughout the region. The Chianti zone was established in 1932 and there are now eight sub-zones: Classico , Rùfina, Colli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane, Colli Aretini, and Montalbano and Montespertoli.
Sangiovese is the main red grape of Tuscany. In Chianti, wines must contain at least 70% Sangiovese. The Sangiovese typically makes wines that are light in color with bright acidity, red cherry flavors and a herbal tone.

Vernaccia, the oldest wine in Val d’Elsa

San Gimignano is a splendid medieval town in the province of Siena, south-west of Florence, located on a high hill in the Val d’Elsa. Surrounded by walls of the thirteenth century, it has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a small denomination totally integrated with the territory and the homonymous vine it represents, with which the most important white wine of Tuscany is produced.

Since the 70s this wine has been protected by Consorzio del Vino di San Gimignano, which egulates its production thanks to a rigorous disciplinary. One of the guidelines among others is that Vernaccia can be produced exclusively in the territory of San Gimignano.

The scenic Val d’Orcia and its Brunello di Montalcino

A strip of land following the Orcia river between the DOCG zones of Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano… this is the Val d’Orcia, a region surrounded by nature, unmistakable explosion of flavors, scents, colors and aromas.

Brunello di Montalcino is one of the most prestigious and famous of Italian red wines. Clemente Santi was the first to plant the new selected Sangiovese Grosso vines (today locally called Brunello) on the farm in Montalcino. The wine obtained from the winery, Brunello di Montalcino Biondi Santi, enjoyed international success and is still one of the most famous Brunello di Montalcino in the world today.

Brunello di Montalcino wine is produced exclusively from 100% Sangiovese grapes in the territory of the municipality of Montalcino, where this grape finds its ideal climate and it is aged for four years in oak barrels and in bottles. The Brunello is intense ruby red in color tending to garnet. Elegant and intense bouquet. On the palate dry, warm, robust and persistent.

The Difference between Chianti and Brunello

The Brunello grape has thicker skin and is a bit bigger in size than the Sangiovese grape grown in Chianti. As such, Brunello di Montalcino wines are darker in color, are generally more tannic and age-worthy, and have more complexity than Chianti wines. For this reason, Brunello di Montalcino wines are generally more expensive than Chianti wines.

 

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