Drinking wine brings a lot of enjoyment. When you are stepping into the store to pick your next bottle of wine, what do you usually consider?
Many people take the wine production regions into consideration. You may notice that one specific location is well-loved by a lot of wine lovers and this special wine paradise is in Tuscany, Italy.
Tuscan wine is mostly used Sangiovese grape as its major ingredients and their quality seems to get better and better. You must have heard a lot of great things about Tuscan wine, but do you know why wine from this region is so good?
Why Wine in Tuscany is So Good
Tuscany is the fifth largest region in Italy and it includes seven coastal islands. The west of Tuscany is close to the Tyrrhenian Sea, creating a warm Mediterranean climate that is perfect for grapes to grow.
Sangiovese grape gives a better performance when their trees get more direct sunlight. Thankfully, the hillside vineyards in Tuscany are able to provide such an environment.
Since there are a lot of hills in Tuscany, many hillside vineyards have been built. This geographic location naturally generates a tempering effect for the summer heat.
Many vineyards are located at the altitudes of 150 to 500 meters, facilitating the diurnal temperature variation. Hence, the grapes will have a better balance of acidity and sweetness. Furthermore, the aromatic qualities will also be enhanced.
Different regions in Tuscany have a unique geographical condition that influences the quality and taste of the wine. Wines from Bolgheri, Chianti, Montalcino, and Carmignano are known for these distinctive flavors.
Tuscany’s red grape
Over 80% of Tuscan wine use red grapes and a majority of these products are made of Sangiovese grapes.
In Tuscany, the Etruscans cultivated grapes, including the Sangiovese grapes, in the region 3,000 years ago. Based on the different methods used in wine production, Sangiovese grapes can generate wine that has different qualities.
Wines made of Sangiovese grapes are acidic and strong in tannin. The way people described wines made of Sangiovese grapes can be drastically different. Some say that they taste like tart cherry and strawberries; while others might find the taste similar to ripe tomatoes of roasted red peppers.
80% of the Tuscan wine is red wine. Although most of them used Sangiovese grapes, there is huge variation among these wines.
One of the most renowned wine from Tuscany is Chianti. It is made in the Chianti Classico region and the weather is warmer and drier compared to other parts of Tuscany. Such weather helps give a stronger flavor to the grapes.
Fresh chianti has a sharp raspberry taste and an earthy note. There are also Chianti Classico, which has a darker flavor and color. While Chianti contains about 70% of the Sangiovese grapes, Chianti classic contains about 80% of the Sangiovese grapes.
It is not so difficult to find Chianti because it is manufactured in a high volume and it is made available to many parts of the world. Its acidity is said to be great for pairing with a wide range of food.
Brunello di Montalcino
Another famous Tuscan wine is the Brunello di Montalcino. A lot of Brunello di Montalcino is made in Montalcino. This region is located in the south of Chianti and it is drier and warmer than Chianti.
The vineyards in these regions are located at about 500 meters on the mountain. Given the climate in this region, the wines are richer and stronger because the grapes ripe faster.
They are often described as one of the finest wines in Italy due to their complexity. They are known to be a powerful wine with a damp earthy note and a leathery texture.
White wine is also produced in Tuscany and a popular one is called the holy wine. It is a dessert wine made from the Malvasia Blanco grapes. The grapes are laid to dry so that a lot of sugar sweetness is retained. It is regarded as the finest white wine in Tuscany.
A type of the Tuscan wine is called the Super Tuscans. These wines typically do not follow the DOCG regulations, but that does not mean that they are low quality. They are the products of modern winemakers.
Super Tuscan wine usually takes about one to two hours of decanting because it is very rich. The taste of the Sangiovese grapes usually come in the center stage.
Tuscany has a long history of creating world-renowned wine. According to records in the 8th century, the Etruscan viticulture was strong back then. Tuscan wine was also exported to other places such as Southern Italy and Gaul.
A lot of Tuscan wine is classified as a DOCG wine (Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garnatita). In order to get this guarantee, the production of the wine has to follow strict regulation for quality assurance.
Under the DOCG, manufacturers have to pay close attention to the variety of the grapes, the yield limit, the winemaking process, the maturation of the bottle, as well as the ripeness of the grapes.
A tasting procedure is conducted for each DOCG wine and each bottle will receive a numbered seal by the government. Many of the aforementioned wine from Tuscany including Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are DOCG wine.
Tuscany is a large region with stunning and diversified landscapes, allowing it to produce a wide range of wine. Most of these wines are world-renowned and endorsed by many wine lovers across the world.
If you are unsure what to get next time, pick up a bottle of Tuscan wine and give it a try.