The best wines from Tuscany

There are only a few places in the world that have such phenomenal vistas as Tuscany. The undulating hills with cypresses, olive trees and endless vineyards are of a beauty and romance that will last forever. The ancient villages, the remains of the Roman and Etruscan era make the picture more than complete.

Ornellaia (a Bordeaux wine blend), Sassicaia (Cabernet Sauvignon, since 1968) and Masseto (Merlot) gained worldwide fame. Apart from these three famous wineries, other well-known wineries in Tuscany include: Antinori (Tignanello, Solaia), Biondi Santi, Le Macchiole, Luce, Petrolo, Poggio di Sotto and Soldera.

But Tuscany has really gained fame in recent decades because of the wines made from other grape varieties, mainly used in Bordeaux wines and Rhone wines like syrah, grenache, merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. These wines are known as Super Tuscans. The best Italian wines are made, amongst others, in Tuscany.

Tuscany is the land of Chianti and Brunello, both wines are made from the typical Tuscan grape Sangiovese. And most of the Tuscan wines are red wines, however some very high quality white wines are made from amongst others chardonnay, vermentino, sauvignon blanc and ansonica.

Aside from Chianti and Brunello, other famous Tuscan wines include Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. And Tuscany is also famous for Vin Santo, a Tuscan liqueur, which should be enjoyed with a dessert, as tradition dictates.


Suppliers in Tuscany

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All wines in Tuscany

Terroir of wines from Tuscany

Rich in history, and architecture, its rolling hills, trees, medieval castles, and vineyards create an irresistible charm. Tuscany, positioned between 42.5- and 44-degrees north latitude, experiences varied climates influencing grape characteristics and vineyard practices. Its diverse landscape includes mountains, hills, and plains. Sandy, calcareous marl soil with variations of clay, rocks, and minerals shapes its viticulture, with prized soils containing galestro and albarese. Summers in the hills are hot and dry, with unpredictable autumns risking rain during harvest. The coast stays reliably hot and dry, favouring harvesting.

Tuscany is divided into two key regions: the Tyrrhenian coastal zone stretching from Livorno to Grosseto and the Central Hills encompassing Florence and Siena. Despite vineyards in Pisa and Lucca being inland, they yield wines resembling coastal varieties due to the warm maritime climate.

The Sangiovese Grape

Tuscany stands as a pivotal region for wines like Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and more, making it a central hub in Italy's winemaking landscape. Tuscany boasts the highest proportion of red wine production among all regions, as more than 4/5 of the area is cultivated with these blue grapes.

Sangiovese, the predominant grape occupies over half of the plantings in Italy and produces Tuscany’s most famous wines. Other grape varieties include Canaiolo, found in white and red variations, with the red being more prevalent. And vermentino, introduced from Spain, thrives in Tuscany's Apuan Alps foothills and Maremma. Trebbiano, a white grape, yields medium-bodied, straw-yellow wines, is often blended with Vermentino and Malvasia Bianca. Additionally, Tuscany embraces international grape varieties like Merlot, commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, prominent Bordeaux varieties in Super Tuscan, syrah, offering complex, floral, and fruity notes. And for white wines Chardonnay, displaying diverse aromatics influenced by terroir.

The Sangiovese grape takes time to mature, which means it needs a lot of heat. Especially in Tuscany very good results are achieved with this grape variety. Brunellos and Chiantis are all made from the Sangiovese grape. Especially the Super Tuscans and the Reserva wine from this region are excellent examples of this and show that these wines can mature very well and can continue to amaze every wine lover after many decades.

Sangiovese stands for a high acidity and somewhat denser tannins. The alcohol percentage is average and the wines age very well in oak barrels. Sangiovese can often be recognized by a somewhat earthy character. The fruit is both red and black: cherries, blueberries, black currants. Clear floral elements can also be recognized.

Classifications of Tuscan wines

Nearly two-thirds of Tuscany's wines are classified at the DOP level, while nearly a quarter falls under the IGP Toscana category, showcasing the region's commitment to quality and regional identity in winemaking. Tuscany holds prominence in the wine world, with more than 10 DOCGs and the highest number of DOCs tied with Piemonte (as for 2023), alongside several IGPs, Toscana stands as a key Italian wine region.

The most famous red wines from Sangiovese-based red wines include the DOCGs of Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Since many wines don't follow the guidelines for conventional production, they are branded as Toscana IGT. These wines can be made completely of Sangiovese or blended from international varietals such as Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon. A well-known appellation for white wine is Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG.

What are Super Tuscans?

Super Tuscans originated from the huge potential that some Tuscan winemakers saw in using grape varieties such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot in Tuscany. But this meant that the wines made from these grape varieties were not qualified: they became Vino di Tavola wines, i.e. 'ordinary' table wines. In Tuscany, red wines had to be made according to the rules of the sangiovese grape. Besides the use of non-indigenous grape varieties, adjustments took place in the vinification process and in the ageing of the wines.

In the 1980s, the quality of these wines was recognized but it was not until the early 1990s that a separate classification for these wines was introduced: Indicazione Geografica Typica (IGT).

Many of the most expensive Tuscan wines use Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and are thus IGT wines. These wines have since been called Super Tuscans.

What are the best Super Tuscans?

That is always a matter of taste and sometimes changes with time.

The 7 best-known Super Tuscans are:


What are the best wineries from Tuscany

The answer to this is often subjective, but the following producers are definitely among the best in Tuscany:

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