hianti is renowned for its red wines. It’s thanks to its delicious red vintages – and the Sangiovese grape – that the region rose to worldwide fame and acclaim.
Less well known are the excellent white wines that are also produced in this area. Here are the best whites to look out for on your Chianti wine tour.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano
The medieval Tuscan town of San Gimignano is home to a tradition of producing straw-coloured wines that are best enjoyed paired with white meat or frutti di mare (seafood).
As the drink ages, the straw yellow slowly takes on a golden hue. When tasting Vernaccia di San Gimignano on your Chianti wine tour, draw your attention to the floral and fruity notes and aroma. You may notice crisp apple or citrus flavours too that prove especially refreshing in the heat of summer. The well-balanced mineral vintage also has a distinctive aftertaste that calls to mind the flavour of almonds. Let the notes swirl on your taste buds to detect the full range of components.
If a softly acidic flavour with citrus and salty overtones sounds enticing, sample Vermentino. The grape used to make this tasty tipple is often grown along the coast.
Although certainly well balanced, Vermentino enjoys a kind of intensity in its floral and fruity tones. You will be left with an aftertaste reminiscent of grapefruit hanging sweetly on your taste buds.
Moscadello di Montalcino
Well-practiced wine connoisseurs will be in their element when sipping Moscadello di Montalcino on their Chianti wine tour. The complexity and subtlety of the flavours shine through this particular regional specialty, whether you drink the classic dry style or the frizzante (lightly sparkling) variety.
The Mascato Bianco grape proffers aromas of honey and summer fruits that work harmoniously to produce a light sweetness that pairs especially well with blue cheese and desserts.
This luxurious blend of Malvasia and Trebbiano is the most famous of Tuscany’s sweet wines. Its complex tones of orange zest, caramel, apricot and honey pair brilliantly with all manner of desserts. Traditionally, cantuccini (almond biscuits) are considered the best accompaniment.
As the sommelier will be keen to explain on your Chianti wine tour, the grapes used undergo a long drying period in hot attics in order to improve the sweetness. Fermentation in casks is the next stage and can last up to four years. You can’t rush perfection.
You will get the chance to try these whites and many other vintages during a Chianti wine tour, but to get the most out of your tasting, I would recommend booking with a reputable tour operator. Local guides and local knowledge will enhance your experience and ensure that you don’t miss out on the tastiest flavours or the most stunning vineyard scenery.
Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including the best Chianti wine tours. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro’s company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you’re keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.