Grapes for Vin Santo Drying in the Vinsantaia
One of the most characteristic wines of Toscana is Vin Santo. This passito is an ancient and traditional specialty produced throughout the entire region. Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages, but the prototype for this style of wine can be traced back to the Greeks and the Romans.
Most Vin Santo is made from white grapes, typically Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianca Lunga. It can be made from just one of these grapes but is more commonly a blend of the two. Trebbiano provides acidity while Malvasia provides body, texture and perfume. A rare, pink Vin Santo called Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice (“partridge eye”) is made from red grapes, usually Sangiovese. Only a few producers make this pink version.
Italian red wines may get all the attention, but insiders know that Italian whites are as varied and interesting as the country’s reds. Italy’s multitude of mountains and hills ensures wines with bright acidity—the hallmark of Italian whites. Acidity is what makes a wine food friendly, and Italian white wines do not disappoint. From appetizers through dessert, there is a perfect Italian white for your table.