Tuscany is one of the best wine destinations around the world, with its triangular shape, seems made for cultivating vineyards. In fact, wine is produced in all ten of the region’s provinces. There are more than 70 DOCG wines in Italy, 11 of which are produced in Tuscany. DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita or controlled designation of origin guaranteed) is the highest recognition that can be awarded to a wine.
In order to qualify for this European certification, wine producers must comply with the strict rules governing every aspect of the wine-making process. DOCG labelled wines are analysed and tasted by government–licensed staff before being bottled.
Sangiovese grapes are the very soul of Tuscany. In fact, their fruity, aromatic fragrance is present in almost all of Tuscany's top wines. Here is a list of the 11 DOCG wine denominations in the Region:
Some tips before you read:
- Classic: is reserved for wines produced in the region where a particular type of wine has been produced "traditionally". For the Chianti Classico, this "traditional region" is defined by a decree from July 10, 1932.
- Riserva: may be used only for wines that have been aged at least two years longer than normal for a particular type of wine.
It's made with 100% Aleatico grapes. This sweet nectar, was much loved by Napoleon during his exile on the Island on Elba. This red sweet wine has been made on the island for centuries, and proof has been found that it was enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans.
Brunello di Montalcino (normal and riserva) is obtained from Sangiovese grapes, a vine traditionally referred to as "Brunello" in Montalcino and is produced in the Municipality of Montalcino, in province of Siena. “I Vini d’Italia 2013” of the Espresso crowned the Brunello Riserva 2006 Poggio di Sotto, designating it as wine of the year, the only wine and the first Tuscan one in the history of this guide to have obtained the maximum points: 20/20.
More info: Consorzio del vino Brunello di Montalcino Official Web Site
Carmignano (normal and riserva) is made from 50-90% Sangiovese grosso grapes , 10-20% Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Franc ,0-20% Canaiolo Nero and 0-10%Trebbiano Toscano and/or Malvasia and/or Canaiolo Bianco. Carmignano wine is produced in the provinces of Firenze and Prato.
More info: Consorzio Vino di Carmignano
Chianti (as normale and riserva), 70-100% Sangiovese, 0-10% Canaiolo Nero, and 0-10%Malvasia Chianti and/or Trebbiano Toscano. Produced in the provinces of Arezzo, Firenze, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena; with the option to indicate one of the sub-regions:
- Colli Aretini as normale and Riserva produced in the province of Arezzo
- Colli Senesi as normale and Riserva, produced in the province of Siena
- Colli Fiorentini as normale and Riserva, produced in the province of Firenze
- Colline Pisane as normale and Riserva, produced in the province of Pisa
- Montalbano as normale and Riserva, produced in the provinces of Firenze, Pistoia and Prato
- Montespertoli as normale and Riserva, produced in the province of Pisa
- Rufina as normale and Riserva, produced in the province of Firenze
- Chianti Superiore, produced throughout the Chianti region with the exception of the classico sub-region
More info: Consorzio del Vino Chianti
Chianti Classico, produced in the provinces of Firenze and Siena is characterized from the exclusive and compulsive "Gallo Nero" label. Chianti Classico and Riserva is made with 80-100% of Sangiovese grapes, and a max 20% of Canaiolo, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot.
More info: Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico
Morellino di Scansano, produced in the hills around Grosseto between the Ombrone and Albegna rivers (Maremma) and contains at least 85% of Sangiovese grapes (which is locally called Morellino, a name which comes from the local Morelli horses)
Info: Consorzio di Tutela Morellino di Scansano
Suvereto (normal and riserva) It could be made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Sangiovese from 85% to 100%. It's produced in the province of Livorno.
Rosso della Val di Cornia (normal and riserva) produced in province of Pisa and in province of Livorno. It's made from at least 40% Sangiovese, and a max 60% of Cabernet Sauvignon or/and Merlot.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano, normal and riserva is made from 85%-100% of Vernaccia di San Gimignano grapes and traditionally produced in the territory surrounding San Gimignano (Siena area). This white wine was mentioned by Dante in his ‘Divine Comedy’ as far back as 1276.
Info: Consorzio della Denominazione San Gimignano
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (normal and riserva) is obtained from Sangiovese, called “Prugnolo Gentile” in Montepulciano, minimum 70% may be joined up to 30% by other varieties authorized for the Tuscany Region. In 1980 it became the first Italian wine to display the neck-strip of the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.).
Info: Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Since the 1970s, Tuscan wine producers have begun to experiment with foreign grape varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. By combining these with the Sangiovese grosso grape, they have created the Super Tuscan wines (an unofficial category of Tuscan wines, not recognized within the Italian wine classification system), which are high-quality wines that have conquered international markets. Some of the most famous names are: Tignanello and Sassicaia.