Wine Dharma

Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine guide: grape variety, organoleptic characteristics and food pairings

Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine guide grape variety, characteristics Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a historic Tuscan vine, known since 1200, so much important that also Dante mentions it in the “Divina Commedia”. One of the first great aesthetes of wine, Sante Lancerio, Pope Paul III’s personal wine shopper and sommelier, puts Vernaccia at the top of Italian wines, so much so that in 1541 he ordered 80 barrels for a papal supply-party.

And the Vernaccia di San Gimignano has always remained here, it has never left and rarely took root in other areas.

The wine produced from this noble grape was the first in Italy to be awarded with the DOCG and among the first to be recognized as a DOC.

Despite its name, Vernaccia di San Gimignano is not part of the great Vernaccia family, such as Vernaccia di Oristano.

After dark years in which Vernaccia di San Gimignano presented itself as the classic washed white wine, finally, the winemakers of this splendid area returned to a more intense and pure wine. No coincidence that there are many bottles of varietal Vernaccia, aged in barrel, to carve its mineral thickness.

Organoleptic characteristics of the Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Vernaccia is a sapid, structured, strong wine with a sumptuous bouquet of broom flowers, honey, flint, almonds, and saffron. It is not an aromatic wine, but it is certainly not without charm.

What does Vernaccia di San Gimignano taste like?

Body, freshness and amazing flavor are due to the particular conformation of the soil of San Gimignano, an extraordinary amalgam of sand and clays. The same soil that all French Chardonnays love, like the ones from the Côte de Beaune. We don’t want to say that it is a wannabe Chardonnay wine, because is not true. It’s not so buttery and spicy. Vernaccia is a full-bodied white wine with pulp and a bit of tannins. The finish is sturdy with almonds and plenty of aromatics herbs.

Production areas of Vernaccia

Vernaccia vineyards in San Gimignano, Vernaccia area of  production The hectares destined for Vernaccia are 720, all in ventilated areas: ranging from an altitude of 200 meters up to 400, ideal conditions for producing high-quality wines.

It is divided into 3 types, which vary according to the degree of complexity and intensity of the wine.

The first is the entry level Vernaccia, we are talking about fresh and simple wines aged in steel, to drink within the year. Tasty but never too demanding.

Then we find the Vernaccia Cru, which collects more valuable productions, also coming from single vineyards (cru), suitable for more elaborate aging, which uses wood and longer maturation.

And we end in style with the Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva, the spearhead that designates the best productions of the most suitable crus. Great wines that know how to challenge the years and mature, offering evolved aromas of jam, honey, fruit, and noble spices.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano food pairings

San Gimignano view, photo of San Gimignano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine We can indulge ourselves in a lot of dishes: simple Vernaccias are excellent with fish appetizers, seafood salad, pasta with pesto, fish balls and sushi. The most important bottles, rich in structure and spices, excel with baked fish, white meat, rabbit with olives, carbonara pasta, pappardelle with porcini mushrooms. But remember that Vernaccia is one of the excellent white wines also with truffle-based dishes from a glorious risotto with truffles.

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