Tuscan Wine and where to taste it

Tuscany is famous all over the world for producing fine wines, thanks to its territory rich in different types of climates, soils and altitudes that let enologists and farmers obtain products of the highest quality.
In fact, Tuscany is among the qualitatively most productive regions of Italy, counting no less than:

  • 11 DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin)
  • 40 DOC (Controlled Denomination of Origin)
  • and 6 IGT (Protected Geographical Indication)

The main grapevine of the region is Sangiovese, a black berry grape of ancient origins. Depending on the conditions in which it is grown, it can express different characteristics, creating some of the most famous wines in the world.
About white wines, the only excellence made in Tuscany is the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a white grape wine grown exclusively in the territory of San Gimignano.

Famous wines of Tuscany

Among the most famous red wines we cannot fail to mention “Chianti Classico”, “Brunello di Montalcino” and “Nobile di Montepulciano”. High-value wines created on the hills in the area surrounding Siena and Florence.
The “Vernaccia di San Gimignano” instead is the Tuscan white wine that is climbing the region wine panorama, thanks to more and more careful and authentic production.
Tuscany is also a source of inspiration for great oenologists, like Giacomo Tachis, who created a new wine typology: the so-called Super Tuscan.
Great wines resulted from testing made with foreign wines and refinements in barriques. This way of making wine is completely detached from the Tuscan tradition, which prefers Sangiovese and large casks. Among the Super Tuscan produced in Bolgheri area, some of the most well-known are Sassicaia and Ornellaia, while in the Chianti area are Tignanello, Solaia, Cepparello and Flaccianello.

Tuscan Wine History

The enological activity in Tuscany began a long time ago, with the Etruscans. Etruscan wine was totally different by the wines we know today: much more alcoholic and dense, it used to be diluted with water, spices and resins. It used to be very popular at the time, indeed it was exported all over the Mediterranean, up to the East. Actually, it used to be a drink for “VIP”.

During the Roman Empire the wine growing became more and more widespread and vinification techniques were refined. In this way wine became more and more for “everyone”.
During the Middle Ages, production was declared a prohibited practice, because accused of leading to perdition by both Christianity and Islamism. In this period of prohibition, the Benedictine monks produced wine almost in secrecy, getting very close to the quality of wine we drink today.
Tuscany was one of the first regions to recover from this phase of wine decline. Cities such as Florence and Siena slowly start again to vinify and the vineyard became a sacred place, so much so as to give birth to the first disciplinary of vinification and designation to protect this precious and tasty product.
Starting from 1100 the great noble families such as Ricasoli and Antinori were the pioneers of modern Tuscan enology. First, they created the Chianti wine formula, up to the one today's Chianti Classico and later, Biondi-Santi created the innovative Brunello wine.

Where to make wine tastings in Tuscany

We certainly cannot say that the Tuscan wineries are few. From big producers to small family-run businesses, the whole region is rich of wineries offering tours and tastings of their best products. It will not be hard to find a place to have a wine tasting, the hard part is going to be choosing which one will be your wine tourism experience destination!
Moreover, during the whole year there are many events and festivals where you can taste not only excellent wine, but also the typical Tuscan dishes.
Shortly, in Tuscany for wine-lovers you’ll always find something fitting your tastes and time, so that you’ll be able to satisfy your “thirst” of oenological knowledge!

Exhibitions and events dedicated to Tuscan wine

Florence

February - Chianti Lovers
March - Fuori di Taste
March - I Vini Giusti
April - Centovini d’Italia
May - Mostra del Chianti (Montespertoli)
June - I Profumi di Lamole (Lamole in Chianti)
June - DiVini Profumi (Carmignano)
July - Festival Medicea (Cerreto Guidi)
September - Expo del Chianti Classico (Greve in Chianti)
September - Montefioralle Divino (Montefioralle)
September - Vino al Vino (Panzano in Chianti)
September - Festa dell’Uva (Impruneta)
September - Bacco Artigiano (Rufina)
December - Formula Chianti (Tavarnelle Val di Pesa)

Siena

January - Wine & Siena
February - Anteprima Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Montepulciano)
February - Anteprima Vernaccia di San Gimignano (San Gimignano)
April - Orcia Wine Festival (San Quirico d’Orcia)
June - Radda nel Bicchiere (Radda in Chianti)
July - Jazz and Wine (Montalcino)
September - Festa dell’Uva e del Vino (Chiusi)
October - Siena Wine Fair

Pisa

February - Piaceredivino (Bientina)
August - Divino Calice (Pomarance)
September - Pisa Food &Wine Festival

Livorno

March - Terre di Toscana (Lido di Camaiore)
November - Mare diVino

Lucca

May - Viavinaria (Montecarlo)
May - Anteprima dei Grandi Cru della Costa Toscana
July - Montecarlo Jazz & Wine (Montecarlo)
November - Festa del Vino Novello e dell’Olio Novo (Montecarlo)

Massa Carrara

August - Bancarel’Vino (Mulazzo)

Arezzo

August - Il Gusto del Guidi

Grosseto

September - Festa dell’Uva (Scansano)

Wine events throughout Tuscany

August - Calici di Stelle
Christmas and Easter - Cantine Aperte
March - Festa delle Donne del Vino

Taste the Tuscan wine at the Central Market

The Central Market is a project designed to give life back to the old markets of big cities, where tradition meets innovation and street food excellence.
Choosing to have a wine tasting at the Central Market is an intelligent way to learn about food and wine culture of the place, especially if you do not have much time available, to visit the local wineries and wine shops.

Florence

Enoteca del Chianti Classico:

The Chianti Classico Wine Shop proposes guided tastings of typical wines of the denomination, often with producers as protagonists.
It is an excellent opportunity if you are in the beautiful city of Florentine art and you want to know the tradition of the most famous Tuscan wine in the world.

Livorno

Alle Vettovaglie:

If you are in the maritime town of Livorno you cannot miss a ride to its central market.
Here expert sommeliers will lead you to discover Tuscan and non-Tuscan wines, to match to the favorite dish.

The “strade del vino” in Tuscany

If you’d like to know a little more about the characteristics of each wine area, you’d probably be interested by the wine itinerary sketched by the wine roads. The wine roads itineraries are planned paths specifically designed to make the area known both from an enotourist point of view and from a naturalistic and cultural point of view.
In Tuscany there are as many as 16 wine roads, with different characteristics each from one another.
If you’re thinking about going through wine tour, you can take advantage of the opportunity not only to make great tastings, but also to visit cities, small villages, museums and much more.

Please find below the Wine Roads in Tuscany:

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