Vernaccia has been made in San Gimignano for centuries. A small hill-side town in Tuscany known primarily for their medieval towers that surround the city and their delicious white wine Vernaccia di San Gimignano which has been growing in the sandstone hillsides for centuries.
If you’re looking for the best version of this centuries old grape, look to “The Soul of Chianti” and Elisabetta Fagiuoli. This amazing woman has been in charge of the town’s most notable winery, Montenidoli since the 1960’s (celebrating her 50th vintage in 2021!) and though she’s viewed as an icon, she says winemaking is no different for her than making soup– a family tradition that has been passed from down generation to generation and just feels like a part of her.
San Gimignano is a special place– it’s so high in elevation that the sea never reached the heights of most vineyards– so you have incredibly rocky, hard Triassic soil that dates back over 350 million years. Because of this, the wines made in San Gimignano are some of the boldest, strongest and most rich expressions anywhere in the world. Perfect for Sangiovese, sure. But for white wine lovers that always wish their whites were a little bigger– there’s never been a more perfect wine for you.
97 points from Decanter who loved the wine and noted how it has “staying power and an unmistakable tang” from the short skin contact before pressing and fermenting– an ancient method used for Vernaccia that treats the grape like Sangiovese. In doing so, you’ve got one of the world’s most powerful and interesting white wines.
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97 points, Decanter
The Vernaccia grape has been documented in San Gimignano since 1276, while the Montenidoli estate appeared in a 1404 will. Elisabetta Fagiuoli and her late husband, Sergio Muratori planted the then abandoned Montenidoli with vines from 1965. Red grapes are grown on Triassic clays (very rare in Tuscany), the Vernaccia on younger, well drained calcareous ground. The Vernaccia is made like a red, a waning local tradition, with short skin contact before pressing and fermenting leaving deeply textured yellow fruit with staying power and an unmistakeable tang.
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