Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
On the Wine Trail
There's far more to this vine-rich region than cheap, raffia-wrapped bottled Chianti - that
was the 1970s, darling! Something of a viticulture powerhouse, Tuscany excites oenophiles
with its myriad full-bodied, highly respected reds. Wine tasting is an endless pleasure and
the region is peppered with enoteche (wine bars) and cantine (wine cellars) designed espe-
cially for tasting and buying.
Many are planted on Tuscany's strade del vino (wine roads), signposted itineraries that
lead motorists and cyclists along wonderfully scenic back roads into the heart of Tuscan
wine country.
Tuscan white amounts to one label loved by Renaissance popes and artists alike: the aro-
matic Vernaccia di San Gimignano, best drunk as an aperitif on a terrace in or around San
Meander past olive groves, vines and farms plump with local produce with these delightful strade del
Vino e dell'Olio.
Strada del Vino e dei Sapori Colli di Maremma ( ) This route southeast of
Grossetto highlights several DOC and DOCG wines, extra-virgin olive oil Toscano IGP, and the
Maremma breed of cattle.
Strada del Vino e dell'Olio Lucca Montecarlo e Versilia ( ) From
Seravezza in the Apuane Alps to Lucca, then east to Montecarlo and Pescia: features Lucca's famous
DOP olive oil and the Colline Lucchesi and Montecarlo di Lucca DOCs.
Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello is up there at the top with Italy's most prized: count on up to €15 for a glass, €30
to €100 for an average bottle and €5000 for a 1940s collectible. The product of Sangiovese
grapes grown south of Siena, it must spend at least two years ageing in oak. It is intense
and complex with an ethereal fragrance, and is best paired with game, wild boar and roasts.
Brunello grape rejects go into Rossi di Montalcino, Brunello's substantially cheaper but
wholly drinkable kid sister.
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