🍷Italian Wine Trails & Tales…with Jennifer Martin 🍷

🍷Tuscany is probably the best known region in Italy for its wine. While most of us may be familiar with several of the varietals, Jennifer’s knowledgeable insights add a whole new dimension to that next glass of chianti or Brunello!

Let's Go to Italy Together!On the Tuscan Wine Trail!

Many dream of escaping the realities of day to day life and escaping to Tuscany, but to actually say yes and plan for it is another thing.  I can’t recommend it enough for you to make all these fantasies, postcards and movies of Tuscany become a reality.  Tuscany has so much to offer and was the region within Italy that first captured my heart and I know the medieval Tuscan towns, food, wine and olive and vineyard lined hills with capture yours as well…

Photo Jennifer Martin

Tuscany vineyards – (Photo Jennifer Martin)

Let's Go to Italy Together!

My passion for Italian wine began when I first studied abroad in Florence, aka Firenze, many years ago ago.  We all know the most famous wine of Italy and specifically Tuscany, chianti, but there are many more wines to discover within the region itself and a few I wanted to highlight that you can seek out when you make the venture over seas or even from the coziness of your own home.

(Photo Jennifer Martin)

Tuscany Wine Trail (Photo Jennifer Martin)

Sangiovese
Sure many of you will know chianti, but did you know what grape actually makes up chianti?  It’s sangiovese and it can be found in other regions of Italy as well, but is best known within Tuscany.  There are many clones of sangiovese as well that create some of the best wines of not only Tuscany, but all of Italy and that includes Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

(Photo Jennifer Martin)

Chianti Classico (Photo Jennifer Martin)

These last two wines hail from two charming towns found southwest of Florence, Montalcino and Montepulciano.  There is nothing like being able to escape straight to the source of where the wines comes from and having a potential opportunity to meet the winemaker or families behind these wineries and/or getting a tour of the winery.  It will help you to truly understand the land and how these wines are produced.

(Photo Jennifer Martin)

Chianti country (Photo Jennifer Martin)

Both Brunello and Vino Nobile wines are produced from clones of sangiovese known as prugnolo gentile that makes up Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the other clone known as sangiovese grosso that makes up Brunello di Montalcino.   These are wines that can age for extensive periods of time up to 20-30+ years depending on the producer and your personal storage conditions. If you can’t wait that long they can also be enjoyed by decanting the wine in the bottle to open up the aromas and express themselves if they’re drunk in their youth.  These wines are ripe, juicy and deep cherry infused that can have elegant complexity and firm tannins.

Vernaccia
If you’re not much of a red wine drinker there are also other whites within Tuscany including vermentino and vernaccia.  As with sangiovese you can find vernaccia in some other regions of Italy, but Vernaccia di San Gimignano has a rich history and was the first wine within Italy that ever received the DOC designation that makes up the hierarchy of how Italian wines are classified.    This wine comes from the wonderful town of towers known as San Gimignano within Tuscany.  It’s a medium to fuller bodied white wine that is dry, crisp and floral with high acidity and some mineral qualities.

The food and wine of Tuscany
Lastly, Italian wines were meant to be paired with food and throughout Italy each region has their own specialties in cuisine and the wines produced specific to those regions.  Some regions have native grapes that you cannot find in other regions where others are known primarily for a certain grape, but you’ll find some crossover of that grape with surrounding regions.  The same goes with food.  Each region has their own culinary traditions that seem to go oh so well with the wines produced there.

Photo Jennifer Martin

Tuscany wine harvest (Photo Jennifer Martin)

Tuscany is known for their bistecca alla fiorentina, a rare beef from the chianina cow that is amazing, and is a perfect pairing with the reds mentioned above.  Wild boar is another common meat you’ll find with pasta calling for some more red wines, maybe a chianti pairing for this one.  I enjoy the simplicity of the Tuscan cuisine and you’ll find many bean based dishes like cannellini beans or fresh veggies drizzled with fresh extra virgin Tuscany olive oil, or maybe some ribollita soup all wonderful with some Tuscan white wine.

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Visit Jennifer’s website, Vino Travels Italy.com, and learn more about the wines of Tuscany as well as the other regions of Italy. 

Jennifer, a very proud new mom, is also the author of Planning You Dream Wedding in Tuscany.

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Please visit these other fascinating Italian Wine Trails and Tales with us!

🍷Liguria with BeautifuLiguria 🍷 Puglia with Puglia Wine School 🍷 Campania with Susan Nelson 🍷 The Veneto with Orna O’Reilly 🍷 Umbria with Victoria De Maio🍷 Calabria with Katarina Andersson 🍷More of the Veneto with Tom Weber 🍷Piemonte with Jeff Burrows 🍷Back to Tuscany with Phyllis Knudsen 🍷

🍷Coming in Fall!  MORE Italian Wine Trail Tales!

Let's Go to Italy Together!

🍷I would love for you to share as well…tell us about one of your favorite wine trails or tales from Italy. 🍷

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About PostcardZ from Victoria

Wish you were here! I love sharing my passion for travel and insights I've learned along the way. Enjoy my travel tips and inspiration with a lighthearted twist! Join me as we create a forum for sharing experiences and information! Enjoy my newly updated & edited book, "Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style!" with MORE great TipZ and then, let's go to Italy together!
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15 Responses to 🍷Italian Wine Trails & Tales…with Jennifer Martin 🍷

  1. Mark says:

    Nice little article. Let me mention a couple of insights that come from years (thousands of bottles) of Italian wine. Few Italians think in terms of varietal. Virtually ALL Italian reds are blends. This is how the winemarker shows off “style;” just like their cars or shoes. Chianti is based on sangiovese, but MUST also include other grapes. Over the centuries, regions became known for the style of blending as well as the principle grapes. Some of the very finest wines from Tuscany do not meet the strict blending rules and cannot receive the DOCG label. These super-Tuscans (often blended with cabernet from French rootstock) are simply called “red table wine.” Some of my favorites come from “cantine communale” where the locals coop their grapes of many varieties to make the local wine. Most Italian fruit is good in most years, so makers can be very selective; only from a specific soil type, altitude, direction. How and how long a wine stays in barrel is also part of a wine’s style, but in general, when Italian wine goes in the bottle, it is ready to drink. I only decant a wine if it seems ‘tight’ from travelling. Italian wine can be fragile, and decanting can cause some of the beauty to get lost.

    • Vino Travels says:

      Thanks Mark for reading! there are producers making 100% sangiovese as well as 100% of just one grape. As you mentioned it’s all in the winemakers style and choices. I personally love wines that are made of 100% of one grape because you can get a feel for the charateristics of that particular grape. I have to say there are wines of Italy that do benefit from aging and I always seek to bring those back from my travels abroad. Some I can’t wait to open!

    • Thank you, Mark, for your comments and insights. Very interesting! If you’re an Italian wine afficionado, would you consider putting what you wrote and know into a guest blog post/article as part of our Italian Wine Trails & Tales series? If so, please let me know!
      Victoria

  2. Vino Travels says:

    Thanks for sharing this with your readers Victoria!

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  6. Thanks for reminding me of how many wonderful wines we have enjoyed and how many wineries we visited and how much we loved our time spent in and around Chianti! It’s so gorgeous and just seeing your photos and of course the signs brought back so many memories! Learning about and drinking the wines of the area really turned us onto Italian wines and I must say we rarely drink anything else these days. Definitely great food wines! Not a surprise!

    • Phyllis,
      Prego! It is amazing, isn’t it, when we reflect on our fabulous Italian journeys? Still keeping fingers, etc. crossed we’ll be toasting together one of these days!
      Salute my friend!
      V.

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