Monday, May 2, 2011

Tuscan wine - dolce vita with Incantato Tours

Tuscany's winemaking industry counts on one of the most noble and ancient traditions that predates the universally known Chianti wine that often springs to mind when this region is discussed.

Long before the first Etruscans made their appearance, wild vines grew in abundance all over the sunny rolling hills of Tuscany. The Etruscans are believed to have domesticated and bred the forbearers of such grapes as the Sangiovese and the Lambrusco from those early feral grapes. No matter where or how the first vines originated, grapes and the much sought after wines they were made into have been celebrated in local literature throughout all historic times of the region, and even farther back to the paintings and pottery decorations of those original ancient Etruscans.
The hilly soil and the weather conditions of Tuscany are ideal for grape growing and, with the passing centuries, the numerous types of grapes grown gave rise to some rare and much loved varieties. Nowadays, the most grown variety is the noble Sangiovese, which is often combined with small amounts of locally grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo and other grapes into wonderful blends such as the Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano, Carmignano and, of course, the signature Tuscan wines, the Chianti and Chianti Classico, which probably are the best known Italian wines in the world. Other grapes grown here are the Mammolo, Malvasia, Colorino, Raspirosso, Gamay, Grand Noir, Barbera, Moscatello, Aleatico and Vernaccia, among others.
Tuscany accounts for over thirty DOC and half a dozen of DOCG wines. In addition to the great, well-known and appreciated reds, the local production includes a few distinguishable whites, the most notable among them being, without doubt, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Other delicious whites include the Bianco d'Elba, from the Elba Island, Bianco di Bolgheri, Vermentino, Bianco di Pitigliano and Bianco di Val di Nievole. (Bianco in Italian means, "white").
Last but not least, we can't forget the famous Vin Santo, or “Holy Wine”, a dessert delicacy usually made from Trebbiano grapes that have been left to dry in an airy place until the start of Holy Week before being made into wine.

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