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Tuscany wines, the best of the best

The rolling hills of Tuscany are an astounding place to visit. From the Mediterranean coast to the Apennines foothills, there’s a stunning collection of historical cities, from Pisa to Florence, and an enormous range of picturesque towns dotting the landscape.

Tuscany is a foodie’s mecca; the food, but especially the wines have international acclaim and for a good reason: wine here is good; it’s been good for centuries.

 

The food, simplicity at its finest

Tuscany is home to the Cucina Povera or peasant food, but don’t be thrown off for the term; it means that food here is straightforward, always fresh and beautifully balanced.

The quality of the vegetables here is superb; legumes and cheese are all local and combine to create lovely, rustic, heartwarming dishes.

The Bistecca Fiorentina is everything but a peasant dish. The scandalously thick beef prime cut is one of the better-known meat dishes in Europe. It’s massive and incredibly flavorful — only possible for the bulky, white Chianina cows raised in Tuscany.

A good charcoal-grilled Bistecca is a reason for the existence of the mighty red wines in the area.

 

The wines, bottles of legendary status

You can’t talk about Tuscany without mentioning the Sangiovese, central Italy’s noble grape. Winemakers grow the grape everywhere, which means it reflects the distinct characteristics of the place.

Wines made with the grape are intensely fresh and have an excellent structural backbone. Red fruit aromas, forest floor, earthy undertones, leather, and even chocolate are common descriptors of the fabulous Sangiovese wines. Still, it’s where it comes from what gives then their distinct personalities.

Chianti is the most popular Sangiovese wine. It’s grown in the hilly vineyards around the towns of Pisa, Florence, Sienna, and everything between. The wines are mostly Sangiovese but can have a splash of other grapes from Colorino and Canaiolo to the international varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

The greatest Chianti comes from the Chianti Classico region; the wines are up there with the best in the world, but there’s well-priced Chianti made everywhere. Try the Chianti Classico “Lamole” from I Fabbri for a benchmark style.

Brunello di Montalcino is a coveted wine made around the town of Montalcino. 100% Sangiovese, the wines are fuller and more age-worthy than the lively Chianti. Podere Fornacella is a well-respected producer with a hard-to-beat Brunello di Montalcino.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is another Sangiovese wine with an excellent reputation in Tuscany. Together with Chianti and Brunello forms the holy trinity of Tuscan red wines.

 

Speciality wines and dessert

There’s no better way of ending a meal than with a glass of the sweet, historic Vin Santo. The amber-hued wine of luscious sweetness is made with Trebbiano and Malvasia white grapes, although other grapes are sometimes used, even Sangiovese.

The grapes are picked and dried in straw mats to desiccate. The result is passified grapes of concentrated sweetness and acidity, perfect for making complex wines of all sweetness levels.

Expect saffron aromas, dried fruit scents, a nutty character, and a caramel-like sweetness. Vin Santo is a pure delight.

Enjoy your sweet wine with biscotti; the local twice-baked cookie that you must dip in the wine glass for an authentic, immersing experience. Find the Vin Santo del Chianti from Podere Gualandi to visit Tuscany without leaving home.

Tuscany receives millions of visitors every year. The wine, the food, and the landscape make the destination unparalleled.

No one leaves Tuscany empty-handed; you return home with a full stomach and precious memories; memories you can re-live anytime with a glass of delicious Tuscan wine.