San Gimignano

Every year, thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the historic village of San Gimignano. Indeed, San Gimignano is one of the most unique and best preserved medieval hilltop villages in Tuscany. Amazingly, this city looks a lot like it did in the 12th and 13th centuries.

San Gimignano’s “skyline” is defined by several distinctive towers, earning it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

A little history of this wine

San Gimignano is also recognized for its historic white wine, which is created from the ancient local Vernaccia di San Gimignano grape variety.

This is considered Tuscany’s most important dry white wine. It is also the only white DOCG in Tuscany.

Wines from this region have been well-known since at least the 13th century. They were highly valued by kings, popes, and poets.

Because of its historical significance, Vernaccia di San Gimingnano was the first Italian wine to be granted DOC designation in 1966.

Location of the wine producing area

The Chianti and Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG limits encompass San Gimignano’s production zone.

The town of San Gimignano is located in the heart of the appellation, and the vineyards are planted on the hills that surround it on coastal soils primarily composed of yellow sands, yellow clay, and calcareous marls.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG winemaking evolution

Traditionally, Vernaccia di San Gimignano was fermented as if it were a red grape variety, which meant that it was:

  • produced with skin contact
  • fermented in large old wood casks
  • aged in large old wood casks

This produced wines with a deep golden color and oxidative flavor.

Since the 1980s, contemporary winemaking practices like as stainless steel and temperature-controlled fermentation have resulted in clean, light, and fresh wines.

At the same time, quality producers turned to small barrel fermentation and small barrel aging, particularly for Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG requirements

Vernaccia di San Gimignano must contain at least 85% Vernaccia di San Gimignano grape varietal. In practice, however, the majority of wines include a higher proportion of this grape variety, with many examples being 100%.

The Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva must have a minimum alcohol content of 12.5% and be aged for at least 11 months, including at least three months spent in bottle.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine profile

Although all wines are crisp and have refreshing citrus and light, fruity-floral scents with mineral notes and a bitter-almond finish, the styles vary due to winemaking decisions and location variability.

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