Tuscany is Italy's most famous wine-growing region, with its splendour of yesteryear, its landscapes famous for their beauty and its wines with prestigious names.
In the centre of Italy, bordered on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, Tuscany is surrounded on its eastern side by the wine-growing regions of Lazio, Umbria, Marche, Emilia-Romagna and Liguria to the north. It is the oldest wine-growing region in Italy, with vine cultivation dating back to the Etruscans. The region is largely covered by hills, the essential factor in the constitution of the terroirs. In Tuscany, the Mediterranean climate influences the coast, while the heart of the region has a continental climate due to the Apennines.
Sangiovese is the king of Tuscany, the basic grape variety for the best wines. It has a high acidity and very marked tannins, a medium alcohol level and offers a palette of fruity aromas and undergrowth.
Tuscany is famous for its world-famous appellations. Chianti DOCG is called Chianti Classico in the historic area around the villages of Gaiole, Greve, Radda and Castellina, between the cities of Florence and Siena. The best wines are produced in this area. The vineyards are located on the hills, rising between 200 and 500 meters above sea level, and produce full-bodied wines with fruity and floral aromas.
The fashionable Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is located in an area with a unique climate of oceanic and alpine influences. Legislation requires a minimum of five years' ageing in barrels, the longest in Italy. It is the only wine in Tuscany made entirely from Sangiovese. It offers full-bodied, ripe wines with aromas of black cherry and plum and notes of herbs and spices, with a complexity resulting from years of ageing.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG is located east of Montalcino around the town of Montepulciano. It ages faster than Brunello but lacks finesse. The wine is tannic and the aromas are earthy.