The great tradition of the red and blonde
The discovery of wine had been totally casual: commonly, it is associated with the natural fermentation of grapevines. Near the town of Montevarchi in Upper Valdarno, 2 million-years old fossil vine shoots have been discovered. It is however certain that wine production had started around 4000 BC, but it was only under the Egyptian period that both cultivation and large scale production started.
Under the Roman rule, wine shifted from being an elitist produce, becoming a common one. Owing to winemaking and conservation techniques then known, the beverage produced was extremely different from that we know today. It was, actually, a syrupy substance, very sweet and alcoholic.
It’s during the Middle Ages that the wine we today know began to be produced, since during this period were streamlined all the cultivation and production techniques still in use today.
The whole Tuscany is hilly, and enjoys a mild climate, ideal habitat for Vitis VIniferae. Thence, here are produced high quality wines, known and appreciated worldwide.
Here there are 11 DOCG denominations, 40 DOC and 6 IGT, resulting in 14 “Wine roads”, stretching within territories with long standing winemaking tradition.
Around 70% of Tuscan production comes from red grape varieties (among which is worthwhile to mention the Sangiovese, the Canaiolio and the Ciliegiolo). Well-reputed are also the white grape varieties, namely the Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia Bianca Lunga, Vernaccia and Ansonica, which are exported all across the world.
The Chianti area features two DOCGs. The “Chianti Classico”, produced in the provinces of Florence and Siena, the “Chianti” which encompasses a very wide area and comprises 7 sub-areas, namely: Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane, Montalbano, Montespertoli and Rufina.
Regarding the province of Siena, we have:
The Montalcino area, owning the DOCG denomination of “Brunello di Montalcino”;
The Montepulciano area, with the DOCG denomination named “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano”;
The Valdelsa, with the one and only Tuscan white DOCG, the “Vernaccia of San Gimignano”.
There are also other Tuscan provinces that have gained the DOCG denomination:
In the province of Prato, in the Carmignano-Poggio a Caiano area, there is the “Carmignano” DOCG;
In the province of Grosseto there are two DOCGs, “Morellino di Scansano” and “Montecucco Sangiovese”;
In the province of Leghorn there are three DOCGs: the “Suvereto”, the “Val di Cornia Rosso” and the “Elba Aleatico Passito” (coming from the Elba island) which is a dessert wine made with dried grapes.
Moreover, Tuscany is known for its “Supertuscans”, that is these red wines that do not respect the traditional rules of preparation but make use of international grapevine varieties in addition or as a replacement of the Sangiovese grape. For this reason, they can’t be classified as DOCG but nevertheless they are high-quality wines, mainly produced in the Bolgheri area (Leghorn), of which one example is the Sassicaia.