Tuscany is one of Italy’s most highly visited region with over 10 million visitors annually, known for its amazing art, architecture, landscapes, cuisine and wines. The Tuscan wine region is one of the most internationally recognizable wine regions of Italy. Its highly acclaimed red wines includes Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti Classico, Super Tuscan and more.
Central Tuscany Red Wines
Central Tuscany is home to the worldly exported Chianti wines. The larger Chianti appellation covers a vast space, but the historic Chianti Classico wines lie between the provinces of Florence and Siena. The differences between Chianti and Chianti Classico vary widely from one area to another. Chianti is based primarily on sangiovese with the addition of other local red grapes.
Super Tuscans are an unofficial category of wines produced in Tuscany that was established back in the 60’s and 70’s. Winemakers pushed the boundaries experimenting with international grapes and French oak barrique. Although these wines were forced to be labeled vino da tavola wines, names such as Sassicaia, Tignanello and other Super Tuscans have received rave reviews. It opened eyes to a new innovative way of producing wines in Tuscany.
Southern Tuscany Red Wines
In the southeastern part of Tuscany there are medieval villages, Montalcino and Montepulciano, that respectively name the wines Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Brunello di Montalcino is a 100% sangiovese wine. These wines require a minimum of 4 years aging with the riserva wines aged 5+ years. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano differs requiring at least 70% sangiovese, known locally as prugnolo gentile. These wines must age at least 2 years with the riserva requiring an additional year.
Further south in the Maremma you’ll find Morellino di Scansano made with 85% sangiovese, locally known as morellino. Up to 15% of other grapes can be a blend of alicante, merlot, ciliegiolo and others. Morellino di Scansano are more fruity and approachable. The riserva wines with a couple years of aging in oak show much more complexity. In the eastern part of this wine area is Bianco di Pitigliano based primarily on the white grape trebbiano.
All these wine areas can be visited on personal wine tours of Tuscany with Angela Tuscan Tours.