The word, or rather drink on everyone lips right now in Tuscany is ‘Vinnovo’!
An adaption of the words ‘vino nuovo’ (new wine) it is, as the name suggests, the first wine produced from the year’s harvest.
With a long tradition, it is thus a very young wine which some appreciate for its strong grape perfume. However being that it is a somewhat acquired taste, others prefer to wait for wines that have been elaborated for greater lengths of time.
Made with Tuscany’s favourite grape, Sangiovese, combined with Merlot and Gamay, it is typical of the Tuscan region, and has been a known wine tradition since the 1800s when farmers would sit down to a glass (or two) at the beginning of November to commemorate All Souls Day.
Gamay is a varietal based on Beaujolais Nouveau, and since it is one of the first grapes to be harvested, it allows for the earlier release of the Vinnovo. It is a grape known world-wide for its light, fruity flavour.
The wine itself is most typically produced with carbonic maceration, or ‘whole grape fermentation’, and in this way is able to by-pass most of the production laws governing wine production in Italy.
Carbonic maceration involves fermenting the whole grapes, rather than the traditional method of crushing the grapes first. Although some of the grapes do naturally get crushed throughout the process, the juice fermenting inside the actual grape maintains fruitiness, and also means that tannin presence is quite low.
Vinnovo is most often consumed with chestnuts, preferably freshly roasted on an open fire being peeled, scorching chilled finger-tips in the process and filling the air with the most delicious nutty fragrance.
If you would like to learn more about Italian wines, we have a range of small-group Tuscany wine excursions and wine tasting tours to choose from. See the Artviva website for more information or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re interest is more food-based, we totally understand, and would love to help you learn how to cook Tuscan recipes. That’s why we have a great range of small-group, hands-on Tuscan cooking classes.