Tuscany is the most popular of all the Italian wine regions, thanks to the romantic glamor of its endless rolling hills, cypress-lined country roads and hilltop villages.
The Treasure of Central Italy
Tuscan wine Located in central Italy along the Tyrrhenian coast, Tuscany is home to some of the world’s most notable wine regions. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are primarily made with Sangiovese grape whereas the Vernaccia grape is the basis of the white Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
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Tuscany is also known for the dessert wine Vin Santo, made from a variety of the region’s grapes. Tuscany has thirty-three Denominazioni di origine controllata (DOC) and eleven Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). In the 1970s a new class of wines known in the trade as “Super Tuscans” emerged. These wines were made outside DOC/DOCG regulations but were considered of high quality and commanded high prices. Many of these wines became cult wines.
VIDEO: The Wines of Tuscany
Tuscany is one of the most famous and prolific wine regions anywhere in Europe. Its vineyards produce an array of internationally recognized wines in various styles. These go far beyond the well-known reds, and include dry whites such as Vernaccia di San Gimignano and sweet wines both white (Vin Santo) and red (Elba Aleatico Passito).
One variety that particularly thrives on these hillside vineyards is Tuscany’s signature red grape, Sangiovese. Arguably the most important of all Italian wine grapes, Sangiovese is the mainstay variety in almost all of Tuscany’s top reds. In Montalcino it goes by the name Brunello, whence Brunello di Montalcino. In Montepulciano, it is known as Prugnolo Gentile. Under the name Morellino it is the grape used to make Morellino di Scansano.
Unrivaled Taste and Variety
Sangiovese also features in Chianti, in which it is joined by small amounts of Canaiolo and Colorino, as well as increasing quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. With the rise of the Super Tuscans, the most famous of which come from Bolgheri, Cabernet Sauvignon has become a much more prominent variety in Tuscany. But despite the relatively recent appearance of such ‘international’ French varieties in Tuscan wines, native varieties still reign supreme.
Vin Santo or Vino Santo “holy wine” is a style of Italian dessert wine. Traditional in Tuscany, these wines are often made from white grape varieties such as Trebbiano and Malvasia, though Sangiovese may be used to produce a rosé style known as “Occhio di Pernice” or eye of the partridge. The wines may also be described as straw wines since they are often produced by drying the freshly harvested grapes on straw mats in a warm and well ventilated area of the house. Though technically a dessert wine, a Vin Santo can vary in sweetness levels from bone dry, like a Fino Sherry, to extremely sweet.
Best Italian Tuscany Wines
Avignonesi Occhio di Pernice Vin Santo di Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese
Masseto Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Merlot
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Sauvignon
Marchesi Antinori Solaia Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet – Sangiovese
Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy Rare White Blend
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese
Casanova di Neri Cerretalto, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese
Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy Bordeaux Blend Red
Le Macchiole ‘Paleo’ Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet Franc
Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Merlot
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona ‘Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d’Oro’, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Italy Sangiovese
Castello dei Rampolla ‘Vigna d’Alceo’ Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet – Petit Verdot
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Pianrosso, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese
Le Macchiole Messorio Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Merlot
Fattoria Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese
Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese
Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese
Duemani ‘Duemani’ Cabernet Franc Costa Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet Franc
Il Marroneto Madonna delle Grazie, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese
Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese
Petrolo ‘San Petrolo’, Tuscany, Italy Rare White Blend
Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy Bordeaux Blend Red
Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Bordeaux Blend Red
Siro Pacenti PS Vecchie Vigne, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese
Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet – Sangiovese