The region with the capital Florence is located in the centre of Italy on the Ligurian coast; the third largest Italian island Elba is also included. It borders Liguria and Emilia-Romagna to the north, Marche and Umbria to the east and Lazio to the south. Besides Piedmont, Tuscany is probably the most famous Italian wine-growing region and also one of the most beautiful areas of the country in terms of landscape. Long before the Romans, the Etruscans cultivated wine here, making it one of the oldest wine-growing regions in Europe. In ancient times, the area formed the land of Etruria, named after the original people. In Roman this means Tuscia, from which Tuscany then developed. From the third century B.C. the Etruscans were absorbed by the Romans. The Romans lent small estates to veteran legionaries for their services to the fatherland.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Tuscany was dominated by Goths, Byzantines, Longobards and Franks. Under Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) the Via Francigena (Franconian road) was built, which connected northern and southern Italy and led through Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena and Radicofani in Tuscany. From the 11th century onwards, the long-enemy city-states of Florence and Siena, as well as Genoa and Venice further north, were established. At this time, due to the needs of the rapidly growing cities, the flowering of the Tuscan wine culture began. In the Middle Ages the "Wine of Florence" became widely known and was sold as far away as England and Russia.
The Medici family is inextricably linked to Tuscan history, and has always been a great patron of the arts, science and viticulture. From the beginning of the 16th century Tuscany was united under their rule and in 1569 Pope Pius V (1504-1572) raised it to the status of a Grand Duchy. Grand Duke Cosimo III. (1642-1723) introduced 150 grape varieties at the beginning of the 17th century, including Cabernet Sauvignon (Uva Francesca). After the Medici died out, Franz Stephan of Lorraine took over the inheritance. In 1860, Tuscany was united by referendum with the Kingdom of Sardinia, with which it was incorporated into the new Kingdom of Italy in 1861. In 1716, under Cosimo III, the boundaries of the areas of Carmignano, Chianti, Pomino and Val d'Arno di Sopra were also defined, making them one of the first officially established designations of origin in Europe. In the 19th century Baron Bettino Ricasoli (1809-1880) defined the strict rules for the production of Chianti. This was also the beginning of the region's rapid rise to a wine power not only in Italy.
The approximately 23,000 square kilometres large region is bordered in the north and east by the Apennines with the 2,216-metre-high Monte Terminillo. The vineyards extend from the mountains to the Tyrrhenian coast, covering an area of around 58,000 hectares. Two thirds of them are situated on sunny mountain slopes between 100 and 500 metres above sea level. The wine landscape alternates with olive groves and extensive forests. A total of 14 beautiful wine roads lead through the region. The most important red wine varieties are Alicante(Alicante Henri Bouschet), Barsaglina, Brunello (Sangiovese clone), Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo Nero, Ciliegiolo, Colorino(Abrusco), Malvasia Nera(Malvasia Nera di Brindisi), Merlot, Pinot Nero(Pinot Noir), Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese clone), Pugnitello, Sangiovese (Morellino), Syrah and Vermentino Nero
The main white wine varieties are Albarola, Ansonica(Inzolia), Canaiolo Bianco(Drupeggio), Chardonnay, Greco, Grechetto di Orvieto (Grechetto, Grechetto Bianco, Pulcinculo), Incrocio Bruni 54, Malvasia Bianca di Candia, Malvasia Bianca Lunga, Malvazija Istarska (Malvasia Bianca, Malvasia del Chianti, Malvasia Istriana), Moscato or Moscato Bianco(Muscat Blanc), Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Bianco(Pinot Blanc), Pinot Grigio(Pinot Gris), Procanico (Trebbiano Toscano variety), Riesling, Riesling Italico(Welschriesling), Roussanne, Sauvignon(Sauvignon Blanc), Sémillon, Traminer, Trebbiano Toscano, Verdello, Vermentino, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Viognier
Today Tuscany is considered the centre of Italian quality wine. The share of DOC and DOCG wines is around 45 percent. This is also where the phenomenon of the wines known as Super Tuscans arose, which often challenge the narrow DOC limits and some of them even surpass DOCG wines. These were for example Galestro, Ornellaia and Sassicaia. Tuscany is also the home of the famous holy wine Vin Santo. From the 1990s onwards, the Maremma, a landscape in the south-western part of the region, developed into a new rapidly growing area of hope. Many well-known Italian wineries are investing here in new vineyards such as Antinori, Castello Banfi, Castello di Querceto, Frescobaldi and Ricasoli. The 6 partly very large IGT areas (or IGP - the land wines) are Alta Valle della Greve, Colli della Toscana Centrale, Costa Toscana, Montecastelli, Toscana (Toscano) and Val di Magra. The 41 DOC and 11 DOCG zones are