Tabl Logo
Account LogoAccount Logo
Wishlist LogoWishlist Logo
Booking LogoBooking Logo


Tuscany is a region in central Italy that includes the likes of Florence and is renowned for its rich history, culture, cuisine and, of course, its wine. Tuscany produces around 5% of Italian wines. Tuscan wines also account for 10% of wine value in Italy, so tasting these high-quality wines definitely shouldn't be missed when visiting the region. The mixed altitudes found in Tuscany mean it can produce an extremely varied palette of wines.

What is Sangiovese?

Sangiovese is a red grape used in Tuscany's most famous and high-quality wines. It has the scent of cherries and redcurrants and can have quite an acidic feel on the mouth with younger wines, so it pairs especially well with Italian food. It has a red berry taste with herbs at the fore, and many compare the subtle flavour to oregano or thyme.

The Sangiovese grape is almost completely exclusive to mid and southern Tuscany. This is because the grape needs high altitudes and lots of sunshine to produce the best wines. There have been attempts to grow the Sangiovese grape in other areas such as California, Australia and Chile, but none of these has been met with success. Though the main grape used in Tuscan wines is the Sangiovese, sometimes this is combined with non-native grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, which creates a wine called a Super Tuscan, which can be quite valuable.

Exploring the wines of Tuscany 1

Italian wine classification

Italian wines can be classified by the quantities of non-native grapes in them. The highest classification and most valuable wine are DOCG, which means DOC classification but guaranteed.

DOC is the next classification level, which means the wine is from a controlled origin, so the grapes in the wine are from a single estate.

IGT is the next classification down and was actually created by the Italian government due to the success of the Super Tuscan wines. The Super Tuscan wines have a too high concentration of non-native grapes to be considered DOC, so when they started being made in the 70s, they were considered VdT, which is the lowest classification and a lower quality table wine. So, the Italian government recognised the quality and success of the Super Tuscan wines with a new IGT classification, which stands for Indication of Geographical Type.

Creating Chianti Wine

Chianti is the most famous wine to come out of Tuscany, and of course, uses the Sangiovese grape. There are so many types of Chanti to try from differing altitudes and with different quantities of other grapes. In previous years when Super Tuscans were all the rage, the most expensive Chiantis would have a large quantity of imported French grape, but winemakers have now decided that the best expression of Chianti is mainly using the Sangiovese grape, with sometimes a very small amount of foreign grape.

There are many types of Chianti with different classifications. A normal Chianti DOC only needs 70% of Sangiovese grapes, whereas a Chianti Classico is a DOCG and needs 80% Sangiovese grapes. There are also seven Chianti DOCG subzones that take the Sangiovese grapes from different areas and therefore have different flavour profiles. These subzones are:

Chianti Colli Aretini

Chianti Colli Fiorentini

Chianti Colli Senesi

Chianti Colline Pisane

Chianti Montalbano

Chianti Montespertoli

Chianti Rufina

Of these wines, Chianti Rufina is considered the highest quality, partially due to this area being furthest from the coast and having extremely high elevation, which is good for the grapes. This is then followed by Chinati Colli Senesi.

Exploring the wines of Tuscany 2

Other famous Tuscan wine regions

It is not just Chianti you can sample in Tuscany; the Sangiovese grape is also used in a number of other wines.

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is made with a 100% Sangiovese grapes and is, of course, a DOCG. It is the wine that many critics will say is the best in the whole of Italy. It is a bucket list wine for many and is definitely worth trying at least once.

Brunello di Montalcino is made using a type of Sangiovese grape referred to as the Brunello and this berry exhibits a thicker skin than most, which gives it its bold fruit flavours, high tannin level and high acidity. Due to the tannins and acidity, the life of this wine is very long and it will actually not be released for tasting until it is at least 4 years old, and is at its best after around 10 years. Some tasting notes for this wine are cherry, cranberry, strawberry and many other bold berry flavours, along with subtle espresso, hazelnut, leather, and chocolate flavours.

Rosso di Montalcino

Rosso di Montalcino comes from the same area as Brunello di Montalcino and is also 100% Sangiovese grapes. It has the aroma of violets and red berries and if released, it's a lot younger than Brunello do Montalcino. This means that it is a lot lighter on the palate, easier to drink, and less valuable.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made from Sangeovese grapes from Montepulciano in southern Tuscany. For this wine, there needs to be 70% Sangiovese grapes, but for the most high-end bottles, winemakers will opt for 100%. This wine is then aged for a minimum of two years. Nobile has more of a plum aroma and is full-bodied with earthy tones.


Carmignano uses fewer Sangiovese grapes than other wines of the region and it is usually around 50%, with the other grapes being foreign grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon. It is dry, intense, soft, tannic and sapid. When the wine is left to age for longer, it develops more body and softness and further complexity. It has dark fruit flavours with hints of pepper.

Exploring the Wines of Tuscany with tabl.

If the eclectic and quality mix of Tuscan wines sounds good to you then tabl. can help you find your new favourite wine. At tabl. we have a huge number Tuscan wine tasting experiences available. We also offer many food and drink experiences to help you explore Tuscany's rich gastronomy scene, with expert guides to help you make the most of each sip or taste.

Exploring the wines of Tuscany 3

Top 5 Tuscany Wine Tours from Florence in 2023

Wine tours from Florence are incredibly popular, frequently selling out months in advance. Read Top 5 Tuscany Wine Tours from Florence in 2023 for more insights

Keep exploring...

Find more amazing tabl. experiences to visit

Timeout LogoHuff Post LogoITV LogoFoodism LogoEvening Standard LogoStylist Logo