What Is Tuscany Wine?

What is Tuscany wine? Tuscany wine is wine that comes from the Tuscany region in Italy and they have regional codes and zoning which dictate certain procedures in creating the wine there. "Tuscany wine is...

"Tuscany wine is wine that comes from the Tuscany region in Italy," says Dave Cedrone a wine consultant who offers private tasting, basic wine education, etiquette classes, and buying services for the restaurant industry.

The climate in the region makes for exceptional grape harvests. The winters are characteristically cold and the summers are dry and hot. Because the temperatures remain evenly balanced throughout most of the day, and the humidity remains relatively low, the conditions are favorable for vineyards.

The types of soil that cultivate the crops vary by altitude in Tuscany. Some of the soils common to the area are made up of components like limestone, marl, calcareous clay, and sandstone. This natural diversity also promotes distinct flavor in the grapes used to create the wines.
Couple those factors with the high standards that Italian winemakers are held to and you're left with some excellent end products.

Cedrone explains, "They have regional codes and zoning which dictate certain procedures in creating the wine there. Pretty much every region in the world has a denomination system where they put codes on the bottle, which actually tell you the quality of the wine and the region that it came from."

Some of the most notable varieties from Tuscany include reds like Chianti DOCG, Sassicaia DOC and Carmignano DOCG, and whites such as Moscadello di Montalcino DOC and Elba DOC.

Chianti DOCG is perhaps the most well known Tuscan wine, and makes a fantastic accompaniment to steaks and other red meat-based meals.

Sassicaia DOC is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon that is aged between 18-24 months.

Carmignano DOCG is similar to Chianti, but is required to include a certain percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Moscadello di Montalcino DOC is a still or sparkling sweet wine, which pairs well with rich desserts.

Elba DOC is a delicate, dry white variety.

Cedrone explains exactly what the DOC and DOCG acronyms represent.

"Italy has the DOC as well as the DOCG. DOC is Denomination of Control and the DOCG is Denomination of Control and Guarantees meaning it's a higher quality."

There are rigorous standards that winemakers have to achieve the status of DOC and DOCG.

For example, DOC wines have to be created in specific areas and follow stringent guidelines for winemaking in that part of the region.

DOCG wines have an even more difficult hurdle to cross, as a group of expert tasters must evaluate the variety before it passes the test.

Cedrone suggests that beginners should educate themselves about the different standards and classifications of Tuscan wines before they buy.

"That's another thing I would recommend people just getting into wine learn in order to tell the difference between certain wines. It's possible for lower quality Italian wines to be more expensive than higher quality ones just because of the quirks of retail."

So if you're looking to explore Tuscany wine, be sure to memorize those few, simple acronyms.

Cedrone concludes, "If you know your labels and what some of those codes mean you can generally trust that it's going to be a pretty decent quality wine."

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