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Visit the Classic Wineries of Tuscany

June 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Travel Guide

Beautiful Tuscany, one of twenty Italian wine-making areas, is the epitome of wine country, and produces several red wines that enjoy worldwide popularity. High quality wines can be produced due to the harsh winters, high temperature fluctuations, and the high altitude found in the hillside Tuscan vineyards. La Vendemmia, the fall grape harvest, generates a lot of business for the vineyards of Tuscany’s four wine districts. Around this time of year, the weather is just ideal for visiting the back roads of Carmignano, Chianti, Montalcino, and Montepulciano. Sample wines, enjoy fine dining, taste lovely cheeses, breads and olives, and visit the many charming wineries.

West of Florence, on Mount Albano’s mountainside, you will find Carmignano, which enjoys a 2,500 year wine making legacy. In this area, fine wines are created using a blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Cabernet, and Sauvignon grapes. Among these are Barco Reale di Carmignano, the Carmignano Rosato, and the Carmignano Rosso di Riserva. There are many Carmignano wines for all pocketbooks. If you love all kinds of wines, you will want to visit all kinds of wineries. Among the best are: Piaggia, Il Poggiolo, Tentua di Capezzana Ambra, Le Farnete, Artimino, Fattoria il Poggiolo, and Castelvecchio. Don’t forget to visit the Museum of Grapevine and discover the wines and history of the district.

Take a little jaunt to Chianti. This charming village is nestled in the hills to the south of Florence. Here you will be able to tour the fabulous vineyards. You will also find many old farmhouses, abbeys, villas, and castles scattered about the district. Castello Di Volpaia, with its old buildings which house the tools needed to make wine, is located near Volpaia and just outside San Donato is Casa Emma. Gallo Nero wines are found in wine estates that are prime. A very dry red wine, Chianti has a heavy fruity taste created mainly from the local black Sangiovese grapes blended with the white Trebbiano grapes. They are blended to endow Chianti wines their renowned dry, full-bodied taste. A visit to the vineyards will allow you to taste the wines fresh from the vineyard wine sellers, and save money by purchasing wine directly from the vineyard. There is a black rooster symbol on the label on wines from Classico’s Chianti subdistrict.

One of the most renowned names in Italy, Brunello di Montalcino, is produced in the south of Tuscany using grapes from historic Matalcino’s Sangiovese vines. A number of the local wineries blend other grapes. The main variety is Cabernet Sauvignon; however, Canaiolo and Ciliegiolo are also used, along with the Sangiovese grapes. This combination produces some of the best Tuscan wines. These are the wines that made the region famous.

Do not forget to visit Montepulciano, an ancient town on the top of a hill in southeast Tuscany, and be sure to try their signature wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, classic red wine of Tuscany. These fruity wines have a long life and are aged for at least four years. Produced here, as well, is Vin Santo, a Sherry-like dessert wine created from dried white grapes, usually Trebbiano and Malvasia. The finest and, of course, the most expensive is Vin Santo, originated in Montepulciano and manufactured by Avignonesi.

Make sure to take some time out on your next Tuscany holiday to sample as many of the delightful wines of the region as you can.

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