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Tuscan Red Wines

The excellence of Tuscan red wine originates from the close bond between favourable climatic conditions and a long and glorious tradition. For centuries the prestige of the region's enology has been linked to the great potential of the Sangiovese vine, which gave rise to national glories such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano, flanked, in recent decades, by Bordeaux-style vines such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. From these international vines today come the famous Super Tuscans, produced with ageing in barriques and present on the most prestigious tables all over the world. From the youngest and most delicate expressions to the most important and structured ones, from the historical denominations to the most recent novelties, the production panorama is today very vast and varied, and in constant expansion. The essential point, however, is always quality and that unmistakable, genuine, territorial character known and appreciated throughout the world.

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The excellence of Tuscan red wine originates from the close bond between favourable climatic conditions and a long and glorious tradition. For centuries the prestige of the region's enology has been linked to the great potential of the Sangiovese vine, which gave rise to national glories such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano, flanked, in recent decades, by Bordeaux-style vines such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. From these international vines today come the famous Super Tuscans, produced with ageing in barriques and present on the most prestigious tables all over the world. From the youngest and most delicate expressions to the most important and structured ones, from the historical denominations to the most recent novelties, the production panorama is today very vast and varied, and in constant expansion. The essential point, however, is always quality and that unmistakable, genuine, territorial character known and appreciated throughout the world.

An Excellence that Goes Back a Long Way

Tuscan red wines are the result of centuries of wine production. It has been established that, well before the Latin culture, the Etruscans were already cultivating vines, "marrying them to other plants" that were taller, and fermenting their fruit. The 9th extract of the famous Liber Linteus book leaves no doubt about this.

Based on recent archaeological discoveries, it seems that the Etruscans pressed the grapes with their feet in tanks dug out of the stone. The musts were then stored in amphoras or leather wineskins, where fermentation took place spontaneously. Later, in Roman times, these archaic systems were abandoned in favour of more advanced solutions that the Romans had learned from the Greeks and the Mediterranean populations. Thus the first mechanical presses, masonry cisterns and wooden containers appeared. These innovations remained practically unchanged in the Middle Ages, when production experienced a great boost thanks to the commercial and political fortunes of the area and the activity of the winemakers.

According to literary records, throughout the Middle Ages, white wines were considered to be the most valuable products and ageing in wood was still a rare practice. From the 16th century onwards, the fortunes of territorial production grew dramatically and the foundations were laid for many varieties known today. The town of Montepulciano, for example, increasingly distinguished itself for the quality of its production, and among its first admirers was the great figure of Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The extraordinary success that Tuscan wines enjoyed in the modern age is certainly due to the visionary ideas of emblematic personalities such as:

- Cosimo III de' Medici, inventor of the first territorial names

  such as Chianti, Pomino, Carmignano and Val d'Arno di Sopra in

  1716;

- Bettino Ricasoli, the second President of the Council of the

  Kingdom of Italy after Cavour, who developed the identity of

  Chianti, based solely on native red grape varieties;

- Ferruccio Biondi Santi, the first producer to perfect and make

  Brunello di Montalcino famous throughout the world since 1885;

- Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, inventor of the famous Sassicaia

  since 1968;

- Giacomo Tachis, the enologist who revolutionised production in

  the region in the second half of the last century, creating highly

  prestigious wines.

Many other personalities have contributed in recent decades to consolidate and strengthen the prestige of Tuscan red wines, exporting them all over the world. These include the Marchesi Frescobaldi and Marchesi Antinori, landowners and producers from the Middle Ages to the present day. Today, in addition to the distinguished names that have gone down in history, many other producers have shown surprising vitality, offering an excellent and varied range of wines in continuous expansion.



Historic Tuscan Red Wines

The oldest names were created and promoted by Cosimo III de' Medici in 1716, created on a strictly territorial foundation. Today there are dozens of territorial denominations that can be considered historic and indispensable, divided between DOC and DOCG. The grape variety that contributes to their establishment is Sangiovese, the regional native variety by default. Among the most prestigious types of Tuscan red wine, an important place is now taken by: Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Carmignano.

Since the 1970s, some producers have introduced new production methods, abandoning more traditional practices and using international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. The winemaking procedures differed essentially from the traditional ones in the use of the barrique. As they did not meet the requirements of the traditional wines, they are still marketed today under the broader name of Toscana IGT red wine.

A special case is Bolgheri Rosso, produced in the village of Castagneto Carducci from a blend of Sangiovese and international vines. This typology has been enhanced by the international fame of Sassicaia, produced in that area, becoming one of the most sought-after denominations in the world.

Are you a fan of Tuscan red wines? On the Callmewine online wine shop you can find a wide selection of products for all budgets and for every occasion, from the most famous and emblazoned labels to the artisanal productions of small producers. Discover the best Tuscan red wines for sale at the most competitive prices online on Callmewine.