Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
“Wild wine that sets the wisest man to sing at the top of his lungs, laugh like a fool, it drives the man to dancing… it even tempts him to blurt out stories better never told”. (Homer).
This famous quote from the Greek poet describing the passion for wine, is perfect to introduce us to the subject and to speak the language of wine.
Every year a great number of tourists come to the Chianti area – mainly Germans and French – to savour the excellent local food and the wines. The many types of wine produced here are exported throughout Italy and the world; they have the reputation of having a taste and an aroma that has no equal.
This is down to the type of grape, and the fermentation and ageing process, when the wine is left in wooden barrels that maintain and enrich the final product.
If you are travelling to the Chianti area and would like to taste these precious nectars, you should consider joining a wine-tour, while staying in one of the countless facilities available in the region, also online with Last Minute (lastminute.com customers’ reviews here).
Obviously, if you intend to visit this area of Tuscany, you will not just need to book your stay. Here are a few suggestions regarding products to try, attractions and places to see.
Chianti wine, produced in the Florentine areas of the Chianti and in the province of Siena, is the most famous local product; the vines are cultivated on hills that do not exceed 700 meters in height and the clay, pebbly or sandstone soils give this classic Florentine wine unique colours and flavours.
The wine is clear and of a deep red, the aroma varies from red fruits to floral notes and it has a soft taste.
Its origins date back to the 13th century.
Wine has been produced in this land since Etruscan times, and the long-standing winemaking tradition is cherished throughout the area of the Chianti, that gives name to the classic, high-quality Tuscan wine.
In addition to Chianti, Tuscany has some other high-end wines. You find the famous Brunello di Montalcino, a wine with an intense red colour and long ageing process, with a slight hint of vanilla. This wine is made from Sangiovese Grosso, a grape type that is grown almost everywhere in the entire region and has a variety: the Sangiovese Piccolo.
Its origins are ancient; the first records date back to the 16th century, in a treatise by the agrarian Giovan Vettorio Soderini, who describes this grape variety as a “remarkable vine for its regular productivity”.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is another great Tuscan wine, a DOCG wine produced in Montepulciano in the province of Siena. This ancient wine dates back to 789, and was mentioned by the Italian naturalist Emanuele Repetti.
It has a deep ruby purple colour due to ageing, an intense and characteristic aroma and a persistent flavour with wood notes. This wine is produced only in the Montepulciano areas, and this makes it one of the most prized and coveted wines.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a white wine, perfect to have with which fish-based dishes. It has a golden yellow colour and an apple aroma.
What makes it special? The grape is 90% Vernaccia di San Gimignano and it is only grown in this historic town.
His poignant notes are also mentioned by Dante Alighieri in his ‘Divine Comedy’: “Is Bonagiunta,–Bonagiunta, he of Lucca: and that face beyond him, pierced unto a leaner fineness than the rest, had keeping of the church: he was of Tours, and purges by wan abstinence away Bolsena’s eels and cups of Vernaccia”.
There are many varieties of Tuscan fine wines – which derive from the cultivation of different species of grapes (including Sangiovese) and which undergo processing and fermentation in special wooden barrels. They of course come at a certain cost.
The main wine growers and producers come from Montepulciano, Chianti and San Gimignano, where there are plenty of enoteche where you can taste a glass of the wine you prefer, which is also perfect as an aperitif.