The Other Side of Tuscany
Winery of the Month
What wines do you think of when someone mentions Tuscany? Most people think of Chianti and Brunello, but there are over 40 other wine producing regions in Tuscany. So for February we thought we would feature some of these less known regions.
Monteregio di Massa Marittima within the Grosseto province of the Tuscan coast. The 1000 plus acres of vineyards are around 1250 feet above sea level. The area is experimenting with a lot of different varieties and styles. The main white grape is Vermentino with some Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianco as well. Sangiovese is the dominant grape of the Rossos. The remainder can be any of the Bordeaux varieties and Syrah. Try the Rocca di Montemassi Sassabruna version. It is a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, and Syrah. Red berry fruit with some oak spice.
Regularly $29.99 Sale $21.99
Bolgheri is a coastal appellation just south of Livorno. The region was not highly regarded until a 1978 blind tasting involving wines of Bordeaux and a little-known wine called Sassicaia. Sassicaia had been made at Tenuta San Guido for a while but had only been produced commercially from the 68 vintage. This led to Lodivico Antinori who owned the neighboring property, Ornellaia. On the Ornellaia property was a small area with a clay subsoil where Merlot was planted. This area was called Masseto. These wines along with a stable of other top wines based on Bordeaux varities have made Bolgheri a top-quality wine region. Try Il Bruciato from Marchese Antinori. Red berries with vanilla, coffee, and baking spice flavors.
Regularly $33.99 Sale $24.99
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano covers the vineyards around the hill town of Montepulciano. Viticulture here dates to the Etruscans. The wine was often called Chianti, it is inside of the Colli Senesi sub region of Chianti, until the DOC regulations of the 60’s. It was awarded DOCG status in 1980. The wines are mainly Sangiovese (called Prugnolo Gentile) with small amounts of Canaiolo and Mammolo. Try the version from Fattoria del Cerro with black cherry, vanilla, chocolate and tobacco.
Regularly $23.99 Sale $17.99
San Gimigiano is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is North of Sienna. The vineyards are planted on chalk soils which surround the town. The reds are based on Sangiovese, the remainder can be from a slew of varietals. The DOCG Vernaccia di San Gimignano is the only Tuscany. Most of the vineyard area is dedicated to the production of Vernaccia with only about 100 acres for the straight San Gimignano. The Castellani Cavaliere Vernaccia di Gimignano shows citrus flavors with a little peach and finishes with a touch of bitter almond, a hallmark of Vernaccia.
Regularly $12.99 Sale $9.99