With the days getting longer and the spring air inviting you to get out of the house, your favourite weekend getaways are about to start. Whether it's a trip to the lake or a stroll through another city, the important thing is to always discover new places (and maybe not miss out on a nice local lunch). And to be able to enjoy the great names of Italian winemaking, what better place than Tuscany? Home to world-famous red wines such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Vernaccia di San Gimignano, it's the perfect destination for a weekend of good food and relaxation.
The land of Chianti, and more
One of the most iconic wines of the region is undoubtedly Chianti, in its two denominations: Chianti DOCG and Chianti Classico DOCG. These differ in terms of specifications, production area and supervisory Consortium. Chianti Classico, which bears the traditional symbol of a black rooster on its label, is produced in the true heart of Chianti, in the most favoured areas. Produced mainly from Sangiovese grapes, Chianti DOCG is an intense ruby red wine, with aromas of ripe fruit and cherries, delicately spicy notes and tannins that are noticeable but not invasive. In its Riserva version, which is aged for at least 24 months, the spiciness is further accentuated: vanilla emerges, with even a hint of cinnamon, to complete a rich and intense bouquet.
The hilly landscape and the particular characteristics of the soil make the region one of the leading wine producers in the country. Besides Chianti, it produces many red wines that are known and appreciated all over the world. Such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, intense and full-bodied, with aromas of cherry, plum and violet, as well as a persistence that is by no means insignificant: in short, noble by name and noble by nature. Or Morellino di Scansano, the youngest of the Tuscan wines and perhaps the 'easiest' to drink, even for the uninitiated. Fresh and fruity, it is definitely a wine for the whole meal, perfect for a variety of occasions. And let's not forget Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino and all those wines produced from blends of international grapes, such as the Supertuscans, which we will look at later.
What about white wines? They're there too
Although most of the varieties cultivated are black, occupying 85% of the vineyard area, Tuscany can also count important white wines among its wine heritage. Less well known, but not inferior in quality, such as Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Italy's first DOC in 1966, perhaps one of the few white wines to be able to withstand the passage of time. Along with this denomination, we can mention Ansonica Costa Argentario, Bianco di Pitigliano, Candia dei Colli Apuani, Pomino Bianco and the unmistakable Vermentino.
Supertuscans: when going outside the box yields highly regarded wines
Towards the middle of the 1980s, in the midst of the fervent quest for higher quality wines, some producers in the Chianti Classico area decided not to comply with the strict limits imposed by the production regulations, but instead to follow their own instincts, calling for greater freedom in deciding how to make their wine. From a blend of indigenous and international grape varieties, with a period in barriques, the so-called Supertuscans were born: wines of the highest quality, appreciated worldwide even though they did not fall under any denomination. To this day, they are still very popular and beloved labels, sold even at stellar prices, sought after by enthusiasts and experts.
Tuscan wines and food: go for grilled meat and game
Given the body and intensity of Tuscan wines, together with their celebrated roundness and complexity, the most successful pairings are with meat, from grilled meats to game. A green light, then, for stews, casseroles and the traditional Florentine steak. But rich vegetable soups are also rewarding, as is the traditional ribollita made with stale bread and vegetables. If, on the other hand, you are planning a fish or white meat menu, the best accompaniment is a delicate white wine, balanced between freshness and flavour: we recommend Toscana Bianco Selvato.
Discover the collection of Tuscan wines and get ready for a trip to one of the most popular wine regions in the world!