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Wine regions in Tuscany 82 growing regions

Description to Tuscany

The region with the capital Florence is located in the centre of Italy on the Ligurian coast; it also includes the third largest Italian island Elba. It borders Liguria and Emilia-Romagna to the north, Marche and Umbria to the east and Lazio to the south. Besides Piedmont, Tuscany is probably the most famous Italian wine-growing region and also one of the most beautiful areas of the country in terms of landscape. Long before the Romans, the Etruscans were already cultivating wine here, making it one of the oldest wine-growing regions in Europe. In ancient times, the area formed the land of Etruria, named after the original people. In Roman, this means Tuscia, which then became Toscana. From the third century BC, the Etruscans were absorbed by the Romans. The Romans awarded small estates to veteran legionaries for their services to the fatherland.

Toskana - Gaiole in Chianti

History

After the decline of the Roman Empire towards the end of the 5th century, Tuscany was dominated by Goths, Byzantines, Lombards and Franks. Under Emperor Charlemagne (742-814), the Via Francigena (Frankish Road) was built, linking northern and southern Italy and passing through Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena and Radicofani in Tuscany. From the 11th century onwards, the long-enemyed city-states of Florence and Siena emerged, as did Genoa and Venice further north. It was at this time, due to the needs of the rapidly growing cities, that Tuscan wine culture began to blossom. In the Middle Ages, the "wine of Florence" became widely known and was sold to the courts of rulers as far away as England and Russia.

Medici family

Inseparably linked with Tuscan history is the Medici family, who promoted art, science and viticulture to the highest degree. From the beginning of the 16th century, Tuscany was unified under their rule and elevated to the status of a grand duchy by Pope Pius V (1504-1572) in 1569. Grand Duke Cosimo III (1642-1723) introduced 150 grape varieties at the beginning of the 17th century, including Cabernet Sauvignon (Uva Francesca). After the Medici died out, Francis Stephen of Lorraine took over the inheritance. In 1860, Tuscany was united by referendum with the Kingdom of Sardinia, with which it then merged into the new Kingdom of Italy in 1861. In 1716, under Cosimo III, the boundaries for the areas of Carmignano, Chianti, Pomino and Val d'Arno di Sopra were also defined, making them among the first official designations of origin in Europe. In the 19th century, Baron Bettino Ricasoli (1809-1880) defined the strict rules for the production of Chianti. This marked the beginning of the region's rapid rise to become a wine power not only in Italy.

Climate and soil

The approximately 23,000 km² region is bordered to the north and east by the Apennines with the 2,216 m high Monte Terminillo. The vineyards stretch from the mountains to the Tyrrhenian coast, covering some 60,500 hectares of vines. Two thirds of them are located on sunny mountain slopes between 100 and 500 metres above sea level. The wine landscape alternates with olive groves and extensive forests. A total of 14 wine roads run through the region.

The summers are predominantly dry and hot, the winters mild and sometimes rainy. The climate is Mediterranean on the coast and continental in the interior with its hilly landscapes and mountains, especially in the Chianti and Montepulciano areas. The characteristic soils in almost all growing areas consist of clayey-limestone components, Galestro and Alberese. In the Maremma there are also sandy sections.

Grape varieties

There is a great variety of autochthonous grape varieties. The most important white wine varieties are Albarola, Ansonica (Inzolia), Canaiolo Bianco (Drupeggio), Chardonnay, Greco, Grechetto di Orvieto (Grechetto, Grechetto Bianco, Pulcinculo), Incrocio Bruni 54, Malvasia Bianca di Candia, Malvasia Bianca Lunga, Malvazija Istarska (Malvasia Bianca, Malvasia del Chianti, Malvasia Istriana), Moscato or Moscato Bianco (Muscat Blanc), Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Bianco (Pinot Blanc), Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Procanico (variety Trebbiano Toscano), Riesling, Riesling Italico (Welschriesling), Roussanne, Sauvignon (Sauvignon Blanc), Sémillon, Traminer, Trebbiano Toscano, Verdello, Vermentino, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Viognier.

The most important red wine varieties are Alicante (Alicante Henri Bouschet), Barsaglina, Brunello (Sangiovese clone), Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo Nero, Ciliegiolo, Colorino (Abrusco), Malvasia Nera (Malvasia Nera di Brindisi), Merlot, Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir), Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese clone), Pugnitello, Sangiovese (Morellino), Syrah and Vermentino Nero.

DOC/DOCG/IGT areas

Today, Tuscany is considered the centre of Italian quality wine. The share of DOC and DOCG wines is around 45 percent. This is also the birthplace of the phenomenon of wines known as Super Tuscans, which often challenge the narrow DOC boundaries and some even surpass DOCG wines. These were Galestro, Ornellaia and Sassicaia, for example. Tuscany is also home to the famous holy wine Vin Sant o. From the 1990s onwards, Maremma, a landscape in the south-western part of the region, developed into a new rapidly growing area of hope. Many well-known Italian wineries invested in new vineyards here, such as Antinori, Castello Banfi, Castello di Querceto, Frescobaldi and Ricasoli. The IGT (country wines), DOC and DOCG (quality wines) areas in Tuscany are:

Chianti-Gaiole: Chianti-Chaolo by Adbar - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Map: CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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