Chianti is perhaps the most well known Tuscan wine. Chianti wines are red Italian wines produced in a region of Tuscany known originally as the Chianti province. Chianti wines must contain a blend of 75 to 100% Sangiovese grapes, up to 10% Canaiolo grapes, and no more than 20% of other approved red grape varieties. Most Chiantis are medium-bodied with medium to high acidity. Other characteristics include firm tannins, floral and light nutty notes, with a mid-palate finish dominating the taste. Among the many different Chianti, is Chianti Classico, which is the oldest and most historical one. It is also the most reliable source to make sure you get a really elegant Chianti.
Another important wine falls under the Chianti umbrella, the dessert wine Vin Santo del Chianti: a unique dessert wine made with local white varieties of Malvasia and Trebbiano. If red varieties are used, like Sangiovese and Cannaiolo, the the Vin Santo becomes "Occhio di Pernice", the eye of the partridge.
Brunello di Montalcino wine has a reputation for being the most expensive Tuscan wine. Brunello wines are made from 100% Sangiovese grapes and are often put through an extensive maceration period during which color and flavor are extracted from the skins. Brunello wines feature a fleshy texture and a fruit driven character that often includes aromas and flavors such as blackberry, black cherry, and chocolate.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines are produced primarily using Sangiovese grapes, with a minimum of 70% required. Blends including upwards of 20% Canaiolo Nero grapes are permitted, as is the addition of small amounts of other grapes like Mammolo. These combinations result in a wine with ruby red coloring, intense earthy aromas, and a dry flavor with a hint of oak.
While the above wines are perhaps the most famous from the Tuscany region, they are not the only brands that are worth of attention. When visiting Tuscany, consider visiting vineyards and tasting the following wines:Vernaccia di San Gimignano: Produced in the town of San Gimignano, this white wine is made with Vernaccia grapes which results in a dry wine with crisp acidity and a bitter finish.Morellino di Scansano: A red wine made predominantly from Sangiovese grapes (minimum 85%), this wine is often very fragrant and dry tasting.