Tuscany (Toscana)

Tuscany is possibly the most well recognized and well thought of area in all of the world, and for good reason. The region is noteworthy for many other reasons as well including its breathtaking panorama, various historical sites, art, music architecture and castles, just to name a few of the countless highlights. Some of the outstanding wines of the region include Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Carmignano, Morellino di Scansano,Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Colline Lucchesi, and Montecarlo as well as the Super Tuscan's.

The most popular wine grape if not the signiture grape of the region is Sangiovese. Sangiovese grapes were named  "Blood of Jupiter" by the ancient Romans; it is a versatile, hearty varietal, with excellent attributes and if not indiginous to the area it is expertly matched to the region with nearly an ideal set of variables. From temperature  to topography, climate, soil, moisture and perhaps as importantly the people who painstakingly manage these variables into an excellent end product, the entire setting is ideal.

Super Tuscan wines, are comprised of a Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend; some may also include Merlot or other Italian varietals. Interestingly enough the Super Tuscan's were created, at least initially, because of tight restrictions and oversight by government certifications; these government certifications were difficult to navigate and in some cases impossible to adhere to. Whether it was geographical or weather or composition or interpretation wineries, out of necessity or invention, decided to create blends that would not have to be limited by a certain classification. Basically the old saying "necessity is the mother of invention" created the Super's. It allowed great wines to be made, the first of these wines were made in the late 1960's, to be accurate it is widely recognized the first Super Tuscan (at the time they were not called Super Tuscans and actually the name for these was conceived many years later) wine was created back in 1968. Super's then became critically acclaimed in the 80's and into the 90's with much press coverage and lots of headlines. Today the Super Tuscans are a line of wines all to themselves with nearly every winery in Toscana having a Super Tuscan blend among their annual vintage. The wine is rich, sophisticated and usually on the higher end of the price spectrum with prices typically retailing in the $40-70 range per bottle.

Fine wine from Tuscany, by design, is created to be paired with specialty foods and delicacies of Italy (really all food for that matter). Most importantly the popular wines of Tosacana including Chianti, Chianti Classico, Montalcino, Montepulciano (to name a few) are regionally specific, meaning the wine and food from this region are tailored to one another, made for one another if you will, with recipes and methods honed over thousands of years. Tastes, aromas, and textures are all brilliantly and deliciously intertwined, a result that could only be achieved through ages of experimentation, expertise and trial and error.

One classic recipe we love is the hearty, savory Tuscan bean soup, incidentally Tuscan bean soup pairs very well with wines made with the Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon blend.

Emilia-Romagna

When you think of Italian food most people think Rome, Tuscany, or Piedmont. However the unsung rock star region of Italian food and wine is Emilia Romagna. Many of the popular cuts of pasta come from the region as well as these world renown foods including Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, and mortadella, to name a few. Additionally there are equally incredible wines from the region; they are comprised of regional varietals such as Sangiovese, Lambrusco, Trebbiano and Albana. There are also countless dishes and recipes from the region; our favorite is veal roast, wrapped in pan fried Prosciutto di Parma, with cloves and rosemary prepared extra virgin olive oil, Italian unsealed butter, seasoned with sea salt, & black pepper corns.


Specialty and gourmet foods of the region:
Beans (Fagioli), beef (specifically from Chianina cattle from the area of Maremma), noble game such as wild boar (our favorite), duck, rabbit, pigeon, squab, various sausage combinations (from Cinta Senese swine), Lardo di Colonnata (a fatty, succulent bacon),  as well as olive oil, and various fresh and preserved vegetables.
 
 
Wine Zones of Tuscany, Italy


DOCG wine zones:Brunello di Montalcino, Camignano, Chianti, Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Chianti Colli Senesi, Chianti Colline Pisane, Chianti dei Aretini, Chianti Montalbano, Chianti Montespertoli, Chianti Rufina, Chianti Classico, Morelino di Scansano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


DOC wine zones:Ansonica Costa dell’Arggentaria, Barco Reale di Carmignano, Bianca dell’Empalese, Bianco Pisano di San Tarpe’, Bolgheri, Candia dei Colli Apuani, Capalbia, Colli dell’Etruria Centrale, Colline Lucchesi, Cortona, Elba, Montecarlo, Montecucco, Monteregio di Massa Marittima, Montescudaio, Moscadello di Montalcino, Orcia, Parrina, Pietraviva, Pomino, Rosso di Montalcino, Rosso di Montepulciano, San Gimignano, Sant’Antimo, Sovana, Terratico di Bibbona, Terre di Casole, Val d’Arbia, Val d’Cornia, Valdichiana, Valdinievole, Vin Santo del Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Vin Santo di Montepulciano


IGT wine zones: Alta Valle della Greve, Colli della Toscana Centrale, Maremma Toscana, Montecastelli, Toscana, Val di Magra,
 
 
 


Tuscany (Toscana)

Provinces:
Arezzo (AR), Firenze (FI), Grosseto (GR), Livorno (LI), Lucca (LU), Massa Carrara (MS), Pisa (PI), Pistoia (PT), Siena (SI)
Capital: Firenze
Population: 3.75 million


White (Bianco): Trebbiano, Malvasia, Vermentino, Vernaccia.

Red (rosso): Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot


Super Tuscan blends of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon are an obvious highlight if not for their quality for there commercial success; Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, any of the Vin Santo's and our favorite Carmignano. Really there are so many really outstanding wines within this region however there are also a great deal of pretenders, more so than any other region, with that said it is critical to shop carefully.


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