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Wine region in a nutshell: Tuscany

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

In this blog series, we introduce you to the most beautiful regions in the wine world. This time Tuscany. Rolling hills, swaying cypresses and packed with vineyards. What makes Tuscany such a hugely popular wine region? You read it in this blog!

Montepulciano, Toscane. Photo made by Łukasz Czechowicz.
“Wine is sunlight held together by water”

Well-known quote from Galileo. And he could know as a Tuscan. When we think of Tuscany, we immediately picture those cute hillside roads with vineyards all around. Not

Toscane en de wijnregio's. Kaart van Wine Folly

surprising, because that is what the vast majority of Tuscany looks like. Outside the big cities like Florence, Siena, Pisa and Lucca you will find a lot of vineyards. Because the Tuscan climate is ideal for wine, especially the hearty red guys. There is always a gentle (or hot) breeze from the sea. This results in mild winters and warm summers. With a somewhat rainy spring and autumn you have an ideal growing season for the grapes. The soil is generally a mix of sand and marl, but the best wines come from soil where you'll find 'albarese'; an ochre-colored, chalky type of rock that provides a lot of power to the wine.

The No. 1 grape... the Sangiovese, literally translated 'blood of Jupiter. Most planted grape in Italy, but in Tuscany it produces the most quality wine. Sangiovese ripens late in the season. As a result, it is a bit sour and the wine has a lot of tannin. Tough wine! That's why Sangiovese gets better with age. Due to its tannins and wood aging you can easily keep them for 5 to 10 years. You taste a lot of plums, cherries, tobacco and leather. But above all it is savory; that makes Sangiovese ideal with hard cheeses, red meat and wild meat.

The most famous regions

Although Tuscany, with its 70,000 hectares of vineyards, produces a huge amount of wine, three regions stand out in terms of fame. First of all Chianti, the region that was long known for the simple bulk wine in the demijohns that hang from the ceiling in many pizzerias. Today, the quality is much better and it has DOCG status, with multiple classifications below it. You can recognize Chianti by the black rooster on the label. Montalcino is smaller and more exclusive, known for its Brunello di Montalcino. A dark red wine from 100% Sangiovese. Brunellos are somewhat fruitier than Chiantis. That is why they are sometimes compared to Burgundies. Finally Montepulciano, in the south of Tuscany. Here you will find the Vino Nobile - noble wine - which consists of at least 70% Sangiovese. Often supplemented with the native Canaiolo or Mammolo, or Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Very strong wine that ripens for 2 to 3 years in French barrels.

What you must try once... Vin Santo! This dessert wine is made from Trebbiano or Malvasia. The grapes are first dried on straw mats. Then they are pressed and put into small vessels together with the must, and it is aged for a few years. Result: a full sweet dessert wine with aromas of raspberries, raisins, caramel and honey. Dip in cantuccini and enjoy! Vin Santo is not cheap, but definitely worth a taste!

In short...

Tuscany offers so much! Show off in the kitchen with a good meat pasta, a grilled piece of meat, or a hard cheese tray and grab a Tuscan wine and enjoy! And with this blog you will be well prepared at the table ;)

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