In Tuscany it is common to end a meal by soaking almond-studded cantuccini cookies in glasses of a Tuscan dessert wine, Vin Santo.Historically considered to be the wine of friendship and hospitality, Vin Santo has been enjoyed in Tuscany for centuries. The finest has a deep, beautiful, straw color and has scents of hazelnut, vanilla and sweet oak with accents of apricot and lychee fruit. It is based on varieties of white wine grapes, but to bear the quality-assuring DOC label, however, the blend must consist of at least 70% Trebbiano and Malvasia.
Though the origin of its name is not clear, legend has it that during the 1449 Ecumenical Council in Florence, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church sampled a glass and exclaimed, “Ma questo è vino di Xantos!” (But this is wine of Xantos!), comparing it to the fine wines of “Xantos,” his hometown in Greece. According to another version, it is “Santo” because the grapes are harvested close to the Feast of All Saints (Nov. 1) and crushed the following year at the beginning of Lent.
For a wine estate, producing a good Vin Santo is a task requiring patience and perseverance. Individual bunches are hung to dry in specially prepared, well-ventilated rooms. Partially dehydrating ripe, flavorful grapes increases the concentration of natural sugars, which then yields higher alcohol content during the fermentation process—Vin Santo can contain as much as 17% alcohol.
Once the sweet juices have been extracted, they are aged for three to five years in oak or chestnut barrels in cool, dark, underground cellars. The cold temperature slows the fermentation and creates velvety textures and rich, sumptuous flavors. Barrels that once contained scotch and whiskey produce a “liquor-y” effect, while the finest French barriques are known to draw out the Vin Santo’s natural vanillins and tannins.
The territory of Montespertoli lies to the south-west of Florence, in the area between two valleys in an open and sunny countryside where cypress trees sway in the wind, and vineyards and olive groves exist in perfect harmony. The geological nature of the soil, the favourable microclimate and exposition make the area particularly suitable for the cultivation of the vines so much so that it received deserved recognition in 1997 as a subzone called "Chianti Montespertoli" With the objective of improving quality Parri have been committed to the renewal of their vineyards using selected clones of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot, and specialised planting techniques using a high density of plants per hectare.
Grape Variety: Trebbiano
Vin Santo is a wine which is close to the heart of every Tuscan wine producer. Extreme care is dedicated to the selection of the fruit. Bunches are then hung on wooden poles and left to dry until late January, then slowly fermented and aged in oak for 4 years. The wine has a lovely amber colour, with an intense and characteristic perfume, showing scents of nectarine and coconut. Harmonious and velvety on the palate.
TENUTA IL MONTE
Situated on the downward slopes of the highest hills of the Commune of Montespertoli from which one can enjoy a unique view.
The beautiful farmhouses conserve traces of XV century architecture.
It covers an area of 35 hectares, 15 of which are dedicated to specialised vineyards.
Grape varieties: Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Trebbiano, Malvasia
Wines: Chianti DOCG, Bianco di Toscana IGT, Vinsanto del Chianti Montespertoli DOC
Vinsanto is a wine which is close to the heart of every tuscan wine producer.
Extreme care is dedicated to the selection of the Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes which are harvested, the bunches are then hung on poles and left to dry in a well ventilated building.
In late January the grapes are pressed and the must obtained is placed in oak casks where it starts to slowly ferment and, during the following four years acquires that unmistakable bouquet.