The city of Florence is right at the heart of some of the finest wine regions in the world and can be your gateway to an exciting Tuscan wine holiday.? In this edition of the Modera Travel Series, we will explore Tuscany?s three principal wine regions, learn a bit about the fabulous grape that is at the center of it all, and give some tips on traveling about the region.

Tuscan Wine: A Dash of Micro-Climates and a Lot of Sangiovese

You probably already know that Tuscany produces many world class wines; chief amongst them is the well-known Chianti wines.? Other well-known Tuscans include the more exquisite Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino varieties.? What you may not know is that each of these wines and many of the trendy ?Super Tuscans? are all Sangiovese based wines.? All throughout Tuscany, the ideal climate and soils to grow Sangiovese grapes exist. However, Montalcino, Montepulciano, and the Chianti area just north of Siena are where the highest quality Tuscan wine grapes flourish.

Ask these experts where the best Sangiovese are grown:

Classic Wine in Chianti

Chianti (Kee-ahn-tee) is not just a wine, it is a region.? Situated between Florence to the north and Siena to the south, the Chianti region has abundant wineries and rural towns to explore and enjoy.? Whereas Chianti is produced in several areas of Tuscany (Rufina, Pistoia, Siena, Pisa, and Arezzo areas all produce Chianti) ? the area near the town of Greve in Chianti is where you will find the original heartland of the Chianti region and where the more coveted Chianti Classico wines are produced.? Confused?? Simply look for the black rooster seal on the neck of a bottle of Chianti Classico to ensure it is a true ?classic?.

Savoring Southern Tuscany?s Finest Tuscan Wine

To the south of Siena you will find two smaller, but distinguished wine regions. Take a day trip to Montalcino to find the high end Brunello di Montalcino wines.? Brunello (Broo-nel-oh) are 100% Sangiovese and like their Chianti cugini (cousins), are highly regulated.? Brunello age very well and are broken into two categories ? normale and riserva ? with the reserve lables aged in the bottle one year longer than the normale.? Wines produced sooner than the normale are known as Rosso di Montalcino and are far less expensive.

To the east of Montalcino, and not far from Cortona which was made famous by the book and movie Under the Tuscan Sun is the town ?Montepulciano (Mon-tay pool-chee ah-no).? Vino Nobile di Montepulciano — the wine of the nobles — is what you will find in Montepulciano, and as its name suggests, this wine is regal! Simply known as Vino Nobile (noh-bee-lay), this Tuscan wine ages well and is highly regulated, much like Brunello.? Both Brunello and Vino Nobile wines present a refined, superior nose and finish.? Generally more expensive than Chianti, both of these wines are sought out and coveted by oenophiles.? Your Tuscan wine tasting holiday would not be complete without a stop in these two regions.

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Living la Vita Toscana

While a trip to Tuscany should not exclude the art and architectural treasures of Florence, Siena makes a great central hub for your gastronomical and wine tasting excursions.? This medieval walled city does have many great places to stay and its ceramics shops are a shoppers? delight.? However, consider finding a countryside bed and breakfast, known as agriturismos, to complete your Tuscan experience.? Agriturismos (ah-gree-tor-eez-mohs) are easy to find on the internet and you can typically find reviews on places like Trip Advisor.? Generally family run, agriturismos immerse you in real Tuscan life and cuisine, provide local insight to the best wineries, and give you a chance to sample local olive oils and artisan cheeses – sometimes right from the surrounding property! Truly la vita Toscana!

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Are you ready to live under the Tuscan sun? Do you have a favorite Tuscan wine?? Prefer Chianti to Brunello or Vino Nobile?

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