Contributing to around 6% of Italy's total wine output, Tuscany is the third most planted region, but only the eight biggest producer. Much of this can be attributed to the hilly terroir and poor soils leading to lower yields, but generally higher quality wines. The region produces far more red than white wine, and is responsible for two of the most famous Italian red wines, Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino.
Chianti was first classified in 1716, and the region of Tuscany now has 29 DOC and 7 DOCG classifications. In the 1970s 'Super Tuscan' wines emerged of supreme quality, commanding very high prices. Although they were initially produced outside the DOC or DOCG zones, most of the regions have since been classified, though some producers still opt to use the simpler and less restrictive IGT labelling.
The famous red wine Chianti is based on the the Sangiovese variety, though is most commonly blended with Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. The blending of multiple grapes is common, even Bordeaux blends can be found. White wines produced include Vermentino, Vernaccia, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay.
Located in the sub region east of the Tanaro river, in the province of Piedmont, Italy, the wine region of Langhe is home to rolling hills, winding roads, and of course, world renowned vineyards. The name ‘Langhe’ translates to 'long low-lying hills' in Italian. Besides wine, this area is also known for white truffles, hazelnuts, chocolate and cheese.
Some of the most prestigious and indeed expensive wines in Italy such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Dogliani and Asti are produced here along with the wines that are made with more relaxed production restriction; the Langhe DOC. The Langhe DOC allows winemakers to experiment with different techniques that would not be licensed under other DOCs. In the words of Angelo Fornara, a sommelier from this area, “Each vineyard cru is like a new human being. It has its own identifiable characteristics that define it just like you and me.”
The development of the skin and aroma of the grapes are aided by the extreme differences in the temperatures during the day and night of this area, and the soils which are mixed with marl or calcium carbonate, which produce a wide variety of wines. Arneis, Nascetta, Favorita, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are some of the white grapes grown in this area, and Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, Freisa, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are a few of the reds grown here.
**THIS ONLINE TASTING IS OVER**
This pack contains a bottle of 12 different wines to be opened during a series of 4 online tastings held throughout May and early June 2020. During the COVID-19 lockdown, we will be ... Learn More