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4 Tuscan Wines to Know

Toscana is famed for its selection of wines, but can you taste the difference? We sat down with San Felice, a renowned estate, to sip and savor a few of the region's classic styles of vino. Grab your tasting notebook and make a note of the four best Tuscan wines to keep in your repertoire (and your cellar).



San Felice spans three stunning areas of Toscana: Chianti Classico, Montalcino, and Bolgheri. With an estate in each territory, the taste of Toscana's terroir is on full display in their wines. In the 1980s, they dug deep into indigenous grape varieties of the region and created the Vitiarium, an experimental vineyard where they grow over 270 varieties of native grapes to protect Toscana's biodiversity. After years of study, they have been able to collect and classify the grapes that make up Tuscan viticulture heritage, and even blend them with the more well-known Sangiovese for complex and unique wines.


There's a reason why the great Tuscan red wines are beloved across the world – and the seasoned wine drinker will be able to taste the difference. Here are four of the best Tuscan wines to know, and to enjoy all year round.


CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG


A renowned red made from at least 80% Sangiovese grapes, Chianti Classico has been produced in the heart of Toscana since the 13th century. Sangiovese has always been the primary grape for this full-bodied red wine, harvested in mid-September to mid-October from vines that grow in limestone, clay, and sandstone-rich soils. Take note of the black rooster on the bottleneck – this is the official symbol of designated Chianti Classico DOCG!



BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO DOCG


Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is the acclaimed appellation of Montalcino, a medieval hilltop town in the Tuscan countryside. Since the late 1800s, the iconic wine has been made exclusively with Sangiovese grapes, cultivated for the variety's deeply flavored wines. The power-finesse combination of the wine and the majestic landscape have made Montalcino a destination for all Italian wine lovers.


Credit: Wine Folly

SUPER TUSCAN


These iconic wines are among the most celebrated in Italy; however, they were invented less than 50 years ago, making them newcomers in the wine world. Their story began in the late 1960s when several daring winemakers in Toscana decided to incorporate modern techniques into the old wine-making traditions. Following a drive to produce a more approachable wine, winemakers planted international varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and aged the must in new, small French oak barrels instead of the large traditional oak barrels. Don't let the purists fool you – these wines are just as top-notch as the Sangiovese-dominant styles.



VIN SANTO


This "holy wine" is amber-hued and traditionally made from partly dried grapes, concentrating the sugars. While often found as a dessert wine on most menus, Vin Santo works just as well for aperitivo (try pairing it with aged cheeses for a delicious salty-sweet pairing). For a typical Tuscan dessert, Vin Santo goes extra well with the local cantucci – crunchy almond-studded biscotti that are perfect for dunking in a small glass of this viscous vino.





 



Credit: Eataly

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