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Vermentino di Toscana: characteristics and pairings

  • 05/03/2021

​In these years vineyards of Vermentino have experienced exponential growth as well as the great increase of the quality level thanks to producers who have understood the potential of this grape.


T​he history of Vermentino: from Sardinia to Tuscany 

Talking about Vermentino means getting into a not well know story. Not even the greatest oenologists have managed to shed light on his origins, which many trace back to Spain, from which it would later arrive in Sardinia via Corsica. Others oenolgists argue that this grape took the opposite path. What is certain is that Vermentino was not in the "Ampelographic Bulletin" of the varieties grown in Sardinia in 1877. Yet, from more than 4.000 hectares of Vermentino grown in Italy, 3.300 are planted on the Sardinian island. But Tuscany is the second land for the popular white grape variety, with 544 hectares. Certainly, Vermentino gives its best on poor soils, sun-kissed and close to the sea, thanks to a great tolerance to sea salt. Features that, in this region, are found in Maremma up to Elba island.


Vermentino di Toscana: main characteristics

Vermentino is a white grape variety characterized by clusters of medium or medium-large size, cylindrical or pyramidal in shape and medium sparse (i.e. with sparse berries). The berries are also usually medium-large with a spheroidal shape, therefore a little long. They are normally amber-yellow or greenish-yellow in color (the gradation depends on the greater or lesser exposure to the sun). The peel is pruinose, it is covered with a thin whitish veil of a waxy substance that makes the surface of the grape waterproof. The medium-large leaves grow in a pentagonal shape and are five-lobed, they are formed by five distinct ends called "lobes".


How to produce Vermentino 

This grape variety is the main one in some wines such as Vermentino, Vermentino sparkling, Vermentino passito and late harvest Vermentino. According to the production regulations, at least 85% of Vermentino grapes must be strictly used for all these wines. For the remaining percentage, up to a maximum of 15%, can be used grapes from other vines, with similarly colored berries, suitable for cultivation in Tuscany (with the exception of Moscato bianco).


Vermentino di Toscana: main areas growing

The main areas in which Vermentino di Toscana is grown are those of Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca and Massa Carrara; in the rest of the region the cultivation is however authorized. It is interesting to note that in recent years in the Maremma area there has been a significant increase of Vermentiino vineyards. The result is that today, with about a thousand hectares reserved for this grape variety, the province of Grosseto is the first Tuscan province by extension dedicated to this grape.


Vermentino di Toscana: others characteristics

Vermentino di Toscana shines in its straw yellow color mottled with light greenish and golden reflections. On the nose it releases a bouquet of white fruit and Mediterranean scrub, quince, apricot, notes of cedar, almond, grass, wild flowers, sage, broom, rosemary and wild flowers. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, very fresh and it has a structure that comes from the great sapidity and not from the alcohol content, which is quite contained. It is fine, elegant and usually you will not find many full wines, every producers tries to produce fresh style of Vermentino.


Vermentino's pairings

Everyone knows and appreciates the pairing of  white wine and fish. The typical expressions of Vermentino, delicate, fresh and fragrant, make it particularly suitable when it's paired with seafood dishes. Its growning area, often close to the coast, makes Vermentino a natural choice to pair seafood starters and first courses, shellfish, crustaceans and, in general, fish-based main courses (baked or boiled). We suggest to try it with fresh cheeses and white meats.


Vermentino “Tenuta di Monterufoli"

Tenuta Monterufoli is located in Val di Cornia (Pisa). The estate is nestled inside a  natutal park surrounded by a thousand hectares of uncontaminated nature, secular trees, a myriad of thermal springs and evocative vineyards, from which our Vermentino di Toscana is produced. The historical building has been refurbished in the same site where once an old mine site was located. This property was the home of the legendary character portrayed in Dante Alighieri's poem "Divina Commedia": Count Ugolino della Gherardesca.


Our guests have the opportunity to learn more about Vermentino with tasting all the wines of Monterufoli estate or with a vineyards and estate tour with off-road vehicle.​

 

 

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