Tag Archives: Poliziano

Who is Kaiser Soze? (Tuscany, Italy – Day Four)

When you hear names of regions and places for wines, many things may come to mind. Very rarely are you able to associate a specific wine or style with a specific place, but some famous examples are Champagne, Burgundy, Mosel, Rioja, Barolo and Chianti. It is not difficult to see why this phenomenon is common in the vast majority of regions outside of Europe, as the focus on producing regionally distinct wines from specific regions has only been a recent occurrence. In many cases entire countries that may have a huge variety of climates are associated with a particular variety, such as Australia with shiraz, New Zealand with sauvignon blanc, Chile with merlot, Argentina with malbec, and South Africa with pinotage. Anyone from these countries will happily tell you that this does not reflect the entire production, as they produce many more varieties and many more styles even with the same variety. This phenomenon is also common in Europe for a range of reasons. This may be because a range of different varieties are grown but no one or two are considered the best, it may be because the law allows much leeway for blending other varieties, or perhaps the wines are simply not good enough. In many countries this is further compounded by the setbacks in the first half of the 20th century, with most regions rediscovering the right variety for the best sites, and re-establishing many of the winemaking traditions. With so many regions in Europe, with some much bigger and more diverse than others, it is easy to get lost. Thus it is important to establish regional identity and distinction, rather than produce the same wines as everywhere else. Montepulciano is one such region that lacks clear regional identity, in spite of the fact that the most common grape grown is sangiovese.
New shoots on old vines in Montepulciano

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