Why Vinsanto is one of the most prominent Tuscany wines worth a place on your table (Updated 2022)
Besides the hypnotising landscape with the rolling hills, cypress forests, and lush valleys, the charming Tuscany countryside is also home to a land that favours the cultivation of the best grapes. Combined with the warm Mediterranean climate, the soil in this particular Italian region makes the perfect environment for the production of Vinsanto DOC – one of the most acclaimed local wines with an international reputation. Here are some details that justify its awards and the infatuation among wine connoisseurs and humble wine lovers alike!
Vin Santo del Chianti DOC – Dating back to the Middle Ages
A staple in the Chianti area, Vinsanto or Vin Santo del Chianti is a wine that has become synonymous with hospitality over time. Every single family of locals makes their own Vinsanto, each following a family recipe that’s passed on from generation to generation and remains a well-kept secret.
Now, this is an interesting one. According to the Chianti Wine Consortium, there is something special about how one can consume Chianti wines. The regulations dictate that you can pamper yourself with their delicious taste after November 1st, three years after the grape production. In Vin Santo del Chianti’s case, though, you will have to wait an extra year before you can spoil your taste buds with its aroma and flavours (always after the 1st of November).
When it comes to when or how its production started in Tuscany, it is believed that a Siena friar was using a “holy” wine (hence the name – Santo means holy in Italian) tied to miraculous properties and healing attributes, to celebrate mass in 1348.
— Marchesi Antinori (@AntinoriFamily) December 9, 2016
How is Vin Santo produced?
Traditionally, Vinsanto is produced by harvesting by a choice technique where the producer picks the best brunches. Then, they either hang the harvested grapes on hooks or dry them on mats during the waning moon period. The selection of this particular time is believed to help prevent grape rotting. The next phase involves crushing the dried fruit and transferring the produced juice (whether they also include the pulp or not depends on each wine producer’s local traditions) to wooden barrels.
How to indulge in Vinsanto’s appeal
The locals combine Vinsanto wines with various desserts, such as the crunchy almond biscuits called Cantucci or Biscotti and other dried, baked goods with a sweet taste. However, Vinsanto also makes a superb table wine, especially when it delivers sweet undertones. In this case, do not be afraid to pair it with salty flavours, like fresh Marzolino cheese.
If you have chosen a drier Vinsanto to toast with, bear in mind that accompanying it with a soft, fresh white cheese called Raviggiolo (a typical specialty of the Apennine area) will be a rewarding experience for you. Finally, some Vin Santos are very dry, calling for more delectable options, such as the Tuscan liver pate. Don’t expect the typical French recipe, though, as the local pate is seasoned with parmesan, capers, aromatic sage, garlic, anchovy, and shallot. This gives it an inviting nuanced salting.
Where to get the best Vinsanto wine?
The DOC passito wine finds the soils in the areas of Siena, Prato, Pisa, Florence, and Arezzo particularly rich in much-needed nutrients. So, you can choose a luxury countryside villa in any of these areas and savour a greater variety of tastes and flavours than in any other Tuscany province. Apart from being right in the heart of the Chianti Vinsanto wine production zone, you will also be able to see popular landmarks within a short drive’s time, such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, nature reserves, medieval castles, Renaissance art hubs, and idyllic landscapes painted with colours a human mind cannot easily compose.
Featured Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/letorri/5248805572/in/album-72157625092209784/