Tuscany: The Future Lies in The Historical Local Vineyards.
The universe of local varieties and vineyards can make the fortune of Tuscan wines in the future. Tuscany Region and the regional agency for innovation and development in the agricultural sector is carrying out a research that is giving excellent results.
More than 360 wine varietals are registered on the national registry of varieties and are allowed farming in Italy. In particular in Tuscany we can find grapes such as Barsaglina and Foglia Tonda, but also Abrusco and Pugnitello. A group of autochthonous and local varieties that can make the fortune of Tuscan wine in the future, possibly along with Sangiovese. From Brunello di Montalcino to Chianti Classico, from Nobile di Montepulciano to Vernaccia di San Gimignano, from Carmignano to Morellino di Scansano, the 37 DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) and the 7 regional DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) labels prove that quality keeps on being the chosen path of wine production in Tuscany. They are niche products that rely on the territory of production, in addition to antique wine varietals that are being rediscovered and reproduced thanks to research and innovation.
Not only Sangiovese
The cause of the loss of biodiversity is to be found in the intensification and in the systematic attenuation of the selection. Furthermore, at the end of 1800 the outbreak of new diseases such as phylloxera has determined the almost complete abandonment of some varietals, nowadays called “minori”. A very important work of verification and control of the farming of the different wine varietals was started in the second half of 19th century, but the big part of this genetic heritage was already lost forever. Nowadays the king of the regional winemaking is the Sangiovese wine. A project for the increase of cultivated varietals has been activated since 1990, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and coordinated by Arsia in Tuscany, the regional agency for the development and innovation in the agricultural and forestry sector. Since 2011 all the activities of the project have been handed to the Tuscany Region. The research has allowed to carry out satisfying and tangible results in few years. The interest for the rediscovery of autochthonous wine varietals, to be used both in uvaggio
– that is a blend of traditional grapes – and in purezza
(mono varietal wine), represents a path that many private wine companies and institutions have undertaken with the world of research, in order to avoid the risk of homologation with the globalised taste.
The prestigious Tuscan “minori”
The “minori” wine varietals are an expression of well-identified territories: Pugnitello, Ciliegiolo and Mazzese have been rediscovered and revalued in the Grosseto province. In Firenze and Pisa there are Abrusco and Abrostine. Siena has Foglia Tonda, Massa Carrara has Barsaglina, Pollera and Vermentino Nero. The wine making with grapes of these varietals have given very interesting sensorial results. Foglia Tonda has potential also for the production of wines with medium and long ageing; Mazzese is good for the production of consumers’ young wines, whereas Pugnitello and Abrusco have an excellent quality.
Artecibo editorial board
Content edited by staff