Wine has literally been a part of the Tuscan civilization for over 3,000 years. Since the ancient Etruscans settled in the gentle rolling hills of Tuscany, viticulture and wine production have been an important element of everyday life.
The north west of Tuscany is mountainous and is famous for the beautiful Apuan Alps, the San Pellegrino water source and for the Carrara marble quarries that Michelangelo himself used to visit for his sculptures. The climate in the north is continental with hot summers and freezing winters.
Winemaking in Tuscany has evolved over the centuries, with new practices being introduced by the Romans, Christian monks in the Middle Ages and aristocrats during the Renaissance. As freighted as Tuscany is with history, geographic diversity and an array of great wines, the region is nevertheless dominated by a few grapes: Trebbiano being the dominant white and Sangiovese being the dominant red varietal of choice. Chianti is without a doubt the most famous of them – until about the last twenty-five years when others emerged to offer diversity and new interest.
Tuscany however, is traditionally a red wine region. The most important grape is Sangiovese, which at Montalcino is known as Sangiovese Grosso and at Montepulciano as Prugnolo Gentile. Brunello and Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, which are amongst the finest red wines made in Italy today, are Tuscan classics. In Montalcino, the Sangiovesse grape is taken to its ultimate expression of aromas and flavors as Brunello di Montalcino. At Collorsobo, the Ciacci family believes that only organic and sustainable practices in the vineyard can yield the perfect fruit needed for their exquisite wines. The Ciacci sisters produce a Brunello di Montalcino with a perfume of strawberry jam and a velvety smooth mouth feel of intense spice and subtle anise. In the seventies and eighties, a group of Tuscan wine makers began to experiment with new varietals and revolutionary methods of blending which has given these wines international success and have become known as ‘Super Tuscans’. Giuseppe Brancatelli is a small producer of six unique wines. His farm, Villa Brancatelli is perfectly situated between the sea and the mountain in Val di Cornia. Valle Del Sogno (translated Valley of Dreams) is a bold robust IGT with a velvety finish. It is beautifully balanced with rich flavors and black fruits.