Tuscan Wine: The Tuscany Wine Tours Basics

Posted by on Aug 10, 2012 in Wine Store Blog | 0 comments

Tuscan Wine: The Tuscany Wine Tours Basics

Thinking of a wine tour in Tuscany?

Hey, I think it’s a great idea!

Tuscany not only has jaw-dropping (and world-renowned) wine, but it’s also the birthplace of Renaissance art. Not to mention, it’s the ‘stomping ground’ of well-known greats like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

There must be something in the water, for people and for grapes. The place just carries passion with it.


Tuscan Grapes for Tuscan Wine

When you’re talking about making a Tuscan wine, you’re usually talking about the Sangiovese grape. It’s a noble grape that’s often cloned because it gives such enjoyable wine.

About 10% of all Italian vineyards use the Sangiovese grape.

You may have already tasted this grape in action if you’ve tried:

  • Chianti,
  • Brunello di Montalcino,
  • or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

By far, Chianti is the most popular of these on the world-wide scale. It’s come a long way from the original straw base bottle from the early 1970’s.

Another up-and-comer on the Sangiovese wine scene is called Super Tuscan. These wines are usually a blend of mostly Sangiovese and new world grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.

You’ll find wines like these under quality category IGT (indicazione geografica tipica). That means the winery has more flexibility in sourcing grapes from a number of different regions. These wineries have more freedom to choose what grapes to use.


Wait... Tuscan Wine Quality Categories?

Tuscany actually has more than 30 DOC classifications. That stands for “denominazione di origine controllata” or controlled designation of origin. It’s a quality assurance system.

There’s also DOCG, which means “denominazione di origine controllata garantita” or controlled designation of origin guaranteed. This classification is more restrictive.

Both of these limit grape sources, allowing only certain grapes to be used. Other factors are limited too, to preserve quality.

Some of the best-quality wines come from Chianti Classico DOCG, which is between Florence and Sienna.

However, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG also has a fair share of prestige. It’s made exclusively from Sangiovese grapes grown in Montalcino.

One of my recommendations is to check out Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG too. Trust me, it’ll be worth it. Interestingly, it matures a lot quicker than the other two above.

Last thing I have to say about Tuscan wineries is check out:

  • Sassicaia,
  • Tignanello,
  • and Ornellaia.


Planning Your Tuscan Wine Tour

One of the first things to think about is price point. If money is no object to you then by all means, go nuts!

But DOCG wines can be pricey. Might be a good idea to split the cost with some close friends. And a Tuscan wine tour is more fun with friends anyways. Half the fun is talking about the wine as you enjoy it.

Still, DOCG wines are 100% worth it.

Don’t limit yourself to only the expensive stuff, however. Chianti wines can be pretty reasonable. Plus, you can find Chianti wines across North America, too.

For your tour, keep food in mind. Food is a huge part of Italian wine. And more than that, Tuscany is well-known for a few specific food types. Here’s the top 5:

  • Antipasto
  • Pasta
  • Porterhouse steak
  • Wild boar
  • Cantucci (a famous almond biscotti)

So, have a better idea of where to start? Great!

If you liked this, take a few seconds to post it on Facebook . It’s a great way to tell your friends about the trip you’re planning.

Buon appetito!

About Dave Keighron

Dave Keighron has written 63 posts in this blog.

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