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Tuscany 101

Free Lesson

Section: Grapes
Lesson: Red Grapes of Tuscany


Tuscany is all about Sangiovese. We see it blended with other grape varieties in some regions, but in others it remains the sole grape used. In this module we will understand in detail the 3 major red grape varieties of Tuscany.


The Heart of Italy

Sangiovese is the reigning grape of Tuscany and accounts for more than 65% of all grape plantings in Tuscany! It has a spectrum of flavors ranging from red fruits like sour cherry, cranberry, and raspberry, to more herbaceous notes such as thyme and oregano at higher altitudes. It possesses high levels of tannins and acidity, creating structured wines that age gracefully, revealing savory meaty, leather, and tobacco notes over time.

Sangiovese expresses itself very differently depending on where it’s grown, much like Pinot Noir. We’ll discuss this in the terroir section, but needless to say, thanks to the diverse soil types and microclimates found throughout Tuscany, we find many different styles. Check out renowned regions like Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano for a range of expressions.

Please note: in Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Sangiovese can be blended with other grape varieties, but in Brunello di Montalcino only Sangiovese can be used.


Plushness in a Glass

Merlot, though originally a French grape, has adapted beautifully to the Tuscan terroir. It introduces fleshy, juicy notes of plum and black cherry to the blends, along with subtle hints of chocolate. The grape is versatile, ripening easily in various conditions, and contributes body and smooth, polished tannins to the wine, making it a valuable addition to the Tuscan red wine ensemble.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Structure and Depth

Cabernet Sauvignon adds depth, color, and structure to Tuscan wines. It infuses the blend with dense black fruit flavors, a touch of green bell pepper, and substantial tannins. This grape variety is resilient and particularly flourishes in the well-drained soils of coastal Tuscany, bringing an international appeal to the blends it graces.

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Unlock the flavors, history, and secrets that put Tuscany on the wine map. Elevate your Italian wine game to MVP status.

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Italian Wine 201

Unlock the flavors, history, and secrets that put Tuscany on the wine map. Elevate your Italian wine game to MVP status.

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3 Quizzes
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