November is here, can you believe it? It seems like only yesterday that the days were longer and warmer, that we enjoyed the summer on the beach.
Now it is getting dark early, the other day children were trick or treating at Halloween and soon we are starting to talk about Christmas celebrations.
November is also the month of Tuscan wines of Chianti and its neighbors in the Italian Food, Wine and Travel group.
I have decided to talk about a couple of wines from different wine areas in Tuscany. This will be a list of a few wines I have tasted during the year that I feel I want to draw the attention to. I will start with one wine from the Chianti area to then continue with a Chianti Classico wine, a Val d’Orcia wine, and a white wine from Pitigliano.
Read on to discover more about the Tuscan wines I have chosen for the ItalianFWT theme this month…
November WITH #ITALIANFWT
The theme this month, November 2019, is the Tuscan wines of Chianti and its neighbors in the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel (#ItalianFWT) group. As briefly mentioned above, I will be focusing on four wines from different areas in Tuscany, namely Chianti, Chianti Classico, Val d’Orcia, and Pitigliano.
How To Participate in the Twitter Chat
On Saturday, 2 November, at 11 am ET / 16.00 CEST the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel group will explore Tuscan wines of Chianti and its neighbors in the #ItalianFWT chat on Twitter. All those of you who are interested in wine, food, and travel in Italy and Tuscany are very welcome to participate in the chat on Saturday. It is always great to have new fellow Italian wine and food enthusiasts to join and add new perspectives to the discussion.
Join us on Twitter on Saturday, 2 November, by typing in the hashtag #ItalianFWT in the search field on Twitter and click Enter, thereafter, you click Latest which will show you all the live tweets. In that way, you can take part in the live discussion. After the chat, you can also head over to read and comment on the article writers’ blog posts. It’s always nice to get feedback on the articles.
A journey through different wine areas of Tuscany
The #ItalianFWT theme this month provides a good opportunity for me to write about those wines I really enjoy but that I haven’t had time to write about yet. It furthermore makes me happy to be able to share them with you.
Il Peraccio Winery in the Chianti area
Let us start at this small organic winery on the Florentine hills, in fact, it is located just a few steps east of Florence. The family story started in the 1940s when the present owner Francesco Masiero’s grandfather Camillo opened a restaurant in Florence where he also sold the wine produced at their farm. The restaurant would then change location after WWII to be where it is still located today in Borgo San Jacopo.
In 2003, Francesco decided to take over the management of the family farm Il Peraccio and turned over the restaurant business to his sister. Today, Francesco and his son Folco run the winery since they in 2016 re-modeled the business and they are focusing more on organic farming and innovation. With the help of their oenologist Dario Parenti, they are experimenting, for example, with maturations in amphora.
Francesco and Folco are convinced about the need for an ethical approach, thus they are not only organic and striving to be sustainable, but they are also committed to social projects and helping and hosting refugees.
Thanks to my friend Dario, I got to visit this winery on a beautiful and sunny December morning last year. After a tour of the winery, we tasted some of their wines directly in the small restaurant – La Saletta di Francesco – that they have in connection to the winery.
They produce four different wines, of which one Chianti DOCG wine. Here, I will talk about their Bruno IGT Toscana 2016 in the Supertuscan style. It is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc that has been fermented and matured entirely in amphora of terracotta.
Bruno IGT is an unfiltered wine with a very low quantity of sulfites. It is a wine that still needs a lot of time to mature to smoothen out the tannins. However, already when I tasted it last year you could feel its potential. It has lovely notes of red fruit as well as black cherry, a hint of spices, and a herby undertone.
Villa Vallacchio – a hidden gem in the middle of the Chianti Classico region
Villa Vallacchio is a winery with a long history as vine growers providing grapes to the Antinori family and other large wineries in the area. Their grapes have indeed been a part of making the Tignanello wine so famous during the past years.
A couple of years ago, they decided to start producing Chianti Classico wines on their own with their own grapes. They did produce wine for their own use and bulk sales also before. But it was only a few years ago that they decided to valorize their vineyards and the grapes they produce to make something on their own, under their own brand.
The owner of the estate today is Alberta Caini, however, it is her daughter Cristiana who runs the winery. The estate is a Tuscan villa that dates to the early 14th century with a lot of history and they also have a chapel of their own inside the villa.
As wine and oil producers their history can be traced to some centuries back. The farmland was developed already in the 14th and 15th centuries but the vine growing and wine production are more recent in time.
I have visited the winery twice and tasted both barrel samples and their different bottled wines. They make a Canaiolo rosé wine that is just fantastic. Alberta’s father had tried to produce a Canaiolo rosé wine many years ago, but in those years, there was not much interest for such a wine. Last year they decided to try again, and it has had great success.
The wine I will talk about here is their Alberta Chianti Classico Riserva 2017 that is made with 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot. It has done a fermentation for 20 days on the skins before the grape must continue to mature separately in tonneaux and barrique for one year. Then the two parts are blended before bottling. They have only made 900 bottles of this Riserva 2017.
I tasted the barrel sample of this wine at the Chianti Classico Collection event in February this year and also some days later at their winery. It is a very interesting wine with a nice freshness, notes of red fruit, and structure. Of course, it still needs time to develop and settle the tannins. Still, it looks very promising.
This is a winery to keep on your radar…
Capitoni winery in Val d’Orcia
Capitoni is a winery that I have actually not visited yet but I have met the owner Marco Capitoni at different wine events. The last time was at the PrimAnteprima (the first of the Tuscan previews of the newly released vintages) with the ‘other’ smaller consortiums in Tuscany.
Capitoni winery is situated not far from Pienza in Val d’Orcia. Think of the postcard-perfect photos of Tuscany that you might have seen, those with the rolling hills and cypresses…this is where the winery is located. Val d’Orcia is also a Unesco World Heritage site so Marco Capitoni is really producing his wines in an amazingly beautiful area of Tuscany.
The Frasi Orcia DOC 2015 that I tasted at the PrimAnteprima in Florence earlier this year, is the flagship wine of the Capitoni winery. It is only produced in the years when the climate conditions have been optimal. The Sangiovese grapes are sourced from the oldest vineyard of the estate that was planted as far back as in 1973. Other than Sangiovese, a smaller percentage of Canaiolo and Colorino are added.
The must is fermented in steel tanks and remains in contact with the skins for about 20 days, thereafter it is matured in barrels of Allier oak for 24 months. The result is a smooth and full-bodied wine where the notes of violet, red fruit, and spices come together in harmony.
A wine that you just want to drink more of…
A Tuscan Vermentino on Volcanic Soil
The white I have chosen to talk about is a Vermentino made in the south of Tuscany, more precisely in the magical little town Pitigliano. For those of you who have never been to Pitigliano, it is a small hilltop town built on the tuff rocks.
Pitigliano is a town with an Etruscan origin that had its flourishing period during the middle ages and the Renaissance. It is also often called Little Jerusalem because of its large Jewish community that has been there since the 15th century.
I will focus on the cooperative Cantina di Pitigliano here and their Neltufo Maremma Toscana DOC Vermentino. Cantina Sociale di Pitigliano was founded in 1954 as a way to make it possible for the many smaller vine growers around Pitigliano to do the winemaking processes together.
The viticulture around Pitigliano has a long and important history that dates to the Etruscan era and it has its roots also in Ancient Greece and the Roman period. It is an area that has since always been known for their white wines that were matured and stored in terracotta vases deep down in the caves dug into the tuff rocks in Pitigliano.
After 1954, the work continued to valorize the wines produced in the Pitigliano area and it resulted in the recognition and institution of the Bianco di Pitigliano DOC in 1966.
At the PrimAnteprima that I talked about above, I also tasted the Neltufo Maremma Toscana DOC Vermentino. Now I cannot remember the vintage, but it ought to have been 2018. It is a Vermentino that has been fermented and matured in steel tanks and it has clean notes of white fruit and flowers. A fresh and mineral Vermentino that I really enjoyed to taste.
See what the others in the ItalianFWT groups write…
- A Taste of Tuscany’s Gran Selezione by Vino Travels
- A Taste of Tuscany Without Leaving Home by My Full Wine Glass
- Arugula and Shrimp Pizza with an Olive Oil Drizzle and a Ricasoli Chianti Classico by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Can’t Serve Chianti Without Olive Oil by L’Occasion
- Castello di Brolio Olio e Vino: Schiacciata all’Uva + 2015 Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Gran Selezione from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Chianti Classico Reaches New Heights: Reflections on the 2019 Anteprima from Avvinare
- Exploring Castello di Brolio & On location Pairings from the Home of Chianti Classico from Somm’s Table
- Garlic Broccoli Pasta with Italian Olive Oil from Cooking Chat
- Gran Selezione: Pinnacle of the Chianti Classico Ladder? from FoodWineClick!
- Guazzetto Paired with Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castello di Brolio from Enofylz Wine Blog
- New Discoveries On The Rich Tuscan Wine Map by Grapevine Adventures
- Ricasoli Chianti Paired with Tomatoes 3 Ways from Asian Test Kitchen
- Shrimp Marinara Wine Pairing…from Maremma Toscano by Steven’s Wine and Food Blog
- Tasting Tuscany: Tuna, Beans, EVOO, Chianti, Vermentino by Wine Predator
- Traditional Italian Soup Paired with Chianti Classico from Always Ravenous
- Tuscan Temptations: Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico 2016 with Grilled Chicken Sausage Ragu over Polenta Muffin from Grape Experiences
- How Italian Winemakers Cope with the Coronavirus Crisis - March 22, 2020
- Salento At Its Best At Castro Wine Fest In Puglia - February 11, 2020
- Cincinnato – A Cooperative in Lazio Focused on Native Grapes - February 1, 2020