Wine Tourism in Tuscany
The Italian region of Tuscany evokes cities full of history, spectacular landscapes and, of course, quality wines; this is the reason why, together with the traditional tourist interested in art or culture, the number of visitors interested in the wines produced in this area is increasing in the last years, giving place to an important rise in wine tourism in Tuscany.
Located in the center of Italy and with its famous capital in the city of Florence, the wine region of Tuscany is the third largest of Italy with regard to number of vineyards.
The Tuscan wines are a result of the climate and orography of the terrain; the confluence of the Mediterranean is combined with the uneven terrain, which gives rise to the vineyards cultivated in the hills, between 150 to 500 meters above sea-level, giving the region a characteristic landscape.
The grapes and wines of Tuscany
Within the varieties of Tuscan wine, four are worth noting:
Chianti wine is without a doubt the most well-known wine produced in the region, and also one of the standards of Italian wines in the world. It is produced in the area surrounded by the historic cities of Florence, Pisa and Siena.
This wine is made with at least 75% of the Sangiovese grape, abundant from the center to the south of the Italian peninsula, as well as a variable percentage of Canaiolo grape and others like Cabernet-Sauvignon.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano
This is a wine produced in the region since the thirteenth century, probably the most renowned variety of white wine produced in Tuscany; from the Vernaccia grape, it is essentially a dry wine, faint straw color, fruity and fresh, perfect to pair with fish.
Nobile di Montepulciano Wine
It receives this designation because from the 17th century it was the preferred wine of the Tuscan nobility. Produced in the area of Montepulciano with at least 80% Prugnolo Gentile grape (also known as Sangiovese), it is necessary that the wine ages for two years before its sale, a time that is prolonged up to three years with the Riserva variety, and the result are red wines with strong notes of plum and almond.
Brunello di Montalcino
This wine is produced with a local variety of grape, the Sangiovese. It is characterized by its great balance favored by the cultivation in a single zone, the Montalcino, with a dryer and milder climate and vineyards located on hills at about 500 meters altitude.
In addition, the requirement of aging for four years in barrel lends this wine exceptional body.
Some wine tourism activities in Tuscany
Tuscany has so many activities that it is practically impossible to name them all. From visits to the historic cities of Siena, Florence or San Gimignano, to tastings of the typical products of the region, the range of activities that Tuscany offers the wine tourist in endless.
One of the most popular activities for wine tourists and promoted by the cities of this region are without a doubt the wine routes, so the traveler could choose between a total of 16 routes where architecture, landscape and wine are joined making this a very unique experience.
Of course we cannot forget the almost mandatory visit to Castiglione del Lago, Monteriggioni and fantastic lodging in etruscan villas or majestic estates from the seventeenth century.