Tuscan Wine

Tuscany is one of the most famous and prolific wine regions anywhere in Europe. It is best known for its Sangiovese-based dry red wines - which dominate output. These include Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. However the most searched-for wine on our database is Sassicaia, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from the coastal region of Bolgheri.

The region's Vin Santo is also highly prized, as are its passito dessert wines, though these are made in tiny volumes by comparison. Dry whites are probably less familiar to most consumers - apart perhaps from Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

A classic Tuscan landscape

Situated in central Italy, Tuscany's neighbors are Liguria and Emilia-Romagna to the north, Umbria and Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. Its western boundary is formed by the Tyrrhenian Sea. The picturesque rolling hills with medieval villages and cypress-lined avenues appeal to tourists and so help promote the wines.

As is the case with almost all of Italy's 20 regions, Tuscany has a long wine history. This can be traced back as far as the fifth century BC. (? Wine-Searcher). 

The region's top wines are officially recognised and protected by a raft of 41 DOC and 11 DOCG titles. There are six more flexible IGP/IGT designations, with the pan-regional Toscana IGP representing nearly a quarter of total output. See Italian Wine Labels for more details regarding this heirarchy.

Climate is a vital factor in this region's success as a wine region. Warm, temperate coastal areas are contrasted by inland areas (particularly those in the rolling hills for which the region is so famous), where increased diurnal temperature variation helps to maintain the grapes' balance of sugars, acidity and aromatics. One variety that particularly thrives on these hillside vineyards is Tuscany’s signature red grape, Sangiovese.

Tuscan Grape Varieties

Arguably the most important of all Italian wine grapes, Sangiovese accounts for around two thirds of all plantings and 85 percent of red wine volume in the region. It is the mainstay variety in almost all of Tuscany's top reds. Its long history and broad regional distribution means that it has acquired various names.

The first word of the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG refers for the local name for Sangiovese. For Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the grape is known as Prugnolo Gentile. Under the name Morellino it is the grape used to make Morellino di Scansano. Sangiovese also features in Chianti, in which it is joined by small amounts of Canaiolo and Colorino, as well as increasing quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

With the rise of the Super Tuscans, the most famous of which come from Bolgheri, Cabernet Sauvignon became a much more prominent variety in Tuscany. Merlot and the other Bordeaux varieties also feature, as does Syrah (most notably in Cortona).

More recently focus has increased on neglected local red grapes, both as blending components and for single variety wines. Of these Ciliegiolo is the most prominent; here it achieves a more structured wine than is usually the case in neighboring Umbria. Pugnitello is also experiencing a revival, though as yet on a smaller scale.

Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc) is the most planted white variety, followed by Malvasia, Vermentino and Vernaccia. International varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier are planted in very small quantities, but do feature in (usually Toscana IGP) white wines from some top estates in red wine-focussed appellations.

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Most Popular Tuscan Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Grape
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet Franc - Cabernet Sauvignon 6th 94 $314
Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet - Sangiovese 14th 93 $152
Masseto Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Merlot 28th 95 $922
Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy Bordeaux Blend Red 35th 94 $242
Marchesi Antinori Solaia Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet - Sangiovese 45th 95 $347
Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese 83rd 94 $156
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese 90th 94 $269
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese 97th 92 $66
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese 127th 93 $196
Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese 139th 91 $67
Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera Toscana IGT - Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese 141st 94 $707
Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese 145th 94 $120
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese 146th 94 $585
Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy Bordeaux Blend Red 167th 93 $126
Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese 167th 90 $68
Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese 191st 92 $103
Tenuta San Guido 'Guidalberto' Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot 217th 91 $49
Ornellaia 'Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia' Bolgheri Rosso, Tuscany, Italy Bordeaux Blend Red 260th 91 $60
Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Merlot 273rd 94 $237
Sassetti Livio Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese 279th 91 $72
Luce della Vite 'Luce' Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Merlot - Sangiovese 286th 92 $112
Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Bordeaux Blend Red 323rd 93 $82
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese 327th 94 $90
Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra, Tuscany, Italy Merlot 333rd 93 $105
Ornellaia 'Le Volte dell'Ornellaia' Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet - Merlot - Sangiovese 340th 89 $26
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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