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When it comes to wine, Tuscany needs no introduction. Intricately knitted into every aspect of community life and culture, wine is part of a wider interwoven web that is central to all that makes up this magnificent area. All the grapes grown here create beautifully crafted vintages, thanks to the near perfect climate and the fertile soils that offer the very basic necessities for the huge variety – the foundation for every bottle that is ever produced. But despite the famous big reds and fruity whites, there are many more you really should look out for when on day trips from Florence. This part of Italy is a haven for anyone who appreciates everything there is to love about wine. With so many delicious bottles to choose from, however, it’s hard to know where to start. Here is our pick of the best lesser known vintages. Tignanello A rather modern Italian red, this was one of the first to be blended without the addition of any white grapes, yet with the inclusion of grapes that are not regarded as traditional. Despite its avant garde foundations, it is now produced at an exclusive vineyard on limestone rich soils that reliably create a black-cherry flavoured bottle that matches perfectly with lasagne or roast pork. Carmignano This may be one of the more expensive ones, but it is definitely worth tasting if you get the opportunity on day trips from Florence. Full bodied, with an acidic finish, this red is blended from Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Taste Carmignano and you will be sampling a vintage that has changed little in the last 400 years. Sassicaia This delicious red is the predecessor of many of the modern Tuscan wines. It is aromatic, complex and spicy, but with a smooth finish that pairs beautifully with beef or venison. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are the grapes used in this vintage. Castello di Ama L’Apparita Made only using the Merlot grape, and named after a local Tuscan village, this wine has a strong connection with France. Merlot is a grape used by many of the famous Bordeaux producers and it creates a wine that boasts plum and black cherry flavours and a complex texture. Isole E Olena Chianti Classico A typical Tuscan classic, this delightful red is created using the classic 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 5% Syrah blend. Full in body, yet carrying elegant herbal flavours, this characteristic tipple is ideal with spiced lamb. On day trips from Florence this is a bottle you may well come across in local wine bars. If you do, make sure you indulge in a glass as it perfectly reflects the flavour of Tuscany. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wine in Tuscany, but if you book any of the many day trips from Florence with a reputable local tour company, you will be introduced to these and many more. Most companies offer specialist wine tasting tours too, so if you have a real passion for the viniculture of Tuscany, you are in for a treat. Author Plate Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including the best day trips from Florence. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro’s company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you’re keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.
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