Tuscany: Home of Southern Italy’s Treasures

Tuscany: Home of Southern Italy’s Treasures

Tuscany is a viticultural region in Italy that is often whispered on the lips of wine amateurs and connoisseurs around the world. Home of the Super Tuscan, a term coined by wine critics, Tuscany is a jewel in Italy’s star-studded wine producing history.

Tuscany is located in central Italy, and is home to the legendary Chianti region. Chianti is recognized for producing the Sangiovese grape-varietal. There are several well-known regions in Tuscany such as Chianti & Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Carmignano. Tuscany also produces white wines. Two stars of the region are Trebbiano, the most planted white grape varietal in Italy, and Vermentino.

Chianti & Brunello di Montalcino are made from Sangiovese

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Chianti is produced in 8 different areas. The combination of the rugged terrain, extremely diverse soil and climates creates timeless expressions of the Sangiovese grape and the Chianti terroir. They possess a ruby red colour and generally have a tint of orange on the edge of the glass. Sangiovese from Chianti tends to develop aromas of black and red cherries. It’s also distinguishable by an incomparable tannic structure. Sangiovese is a highly versatile grape varietal that can grow under many different circumstances. Wines produced in Chianti may also contain the Canaiolo, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape varieties.

Brunello di Montalcino is produced from a clone of Sangiovese, and often referred to as Brunello. Known for producing reds of wonderful ageing capability, this thick-skinned berry has bold fruit flavours, high tannins and an exceptional acidity. Over time Brunello develops flavours of hazelnut, candied cherries, dried roses and chocolate. Traditionally it is aged in oak barrels to enhance the evolution of tertiary flavours.

Super Tuscans: the legend explained

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Sangiovese, the star of the Tuscan region of Italy, is able to adapt to the myriad of terroirs and climates. It is also used in Several Super Tuscans. The term “Super Tuscan” was coined by wine critics in the 1970’s to describe great wines from Tuscany that were made from non-indigenous grape varieties. At this time, winemakers began to mix unauthorized grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. When producing wines under a certain legal appellation, certain rules and restrictions are enforced. In order to produce high-quality wines that don’t use Sangiovese in the blend, wine makers are obligated to put the table wine appellation “IGT” (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). They are less restricted when producing IGT wines. Super Tuscans are known for their bold and rich flavours as well as their tannic structure. Over time, they develop into the most elegant and complex wines of Tuscany.

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