Wine of the Week: Tuscany’s ancient, traditional white grape, Vernaccia!
Above: The Castello di Montauto, where one of our favorite labels of Vernaccia di San Gimignano is produced. Vernaccia is the ancient traditional white grape of Tuscany, clean modern style with round citrus fruit and pleasant acidity.
Tuscany is known primarily for its famous red wines — from Brunello di Montalcino to Chianti Classico to the international grape variety blends used in the world-famous Super Tuscans of the region’s beautiful coast.
But Tuscans, like women and men everywhere, cannot live by red wine alone. In fact, the Tuscan coastline is renowned for its excellent, fresh seafood (while apprenticing as an extern at a Tuscan restaurant, Chef Harvey spent a great deal of time at the seaside and is a master not only of Tuscan “landfood” but also seafood).
One of Tuscany’s most famous white wines is its Vernaccia di San Gimignano, named after the town of San Gimignano, one of the most beautiful medieval citadels in Europe, celebrated for its “skyline” of limestone towers that date back to the 1200s and 1300s.
The same limestone used to make its unique city walls and towers provides the ideal growning conditions for Vernaccia, an aromatic white grape that thrives in the limestone-rich soils of the area.
The Vernaccia di San Gimignano by Castello di Montauto is fresh, bright, and lively, with good but not overwhelming acidity that makes it a fantastic food-friendly pairing, not only for seafood but for many of Chef Harvey’s classic Tuscan antipasti, like his crostini misti (toasted bread rounds topped with tomatoes tossed in extra-virgin olive oil, classic Tuscan pâté, and other traditional toppings).
Vernaccia di San Gimignano by Castello di Montauto is just $7.50 by the glass at Siena!