The Vermentino grape varietal is a white wine grape thought to have originated in Spain. However, today it is most closely associated with Italian wines, and it is grown in much of northern Italy and on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, where it is a highly important varietal for the production of both fine wines and flavorful table wines. Vermentino is popular with vintners, as it is an easy grape to grow, vigorous and highly resistant to the diseases and mildews which cause so many problems when it comes to other varietals. It produces wine which is pale and light in body and alcohol content, but which is refreshingly crisp and acidic, holding flavors of lime and green apple. As such, it is popular with those looking for a light and invigorating wine, perfect for drinking with seafood.
Tuscany has been producing fine wines for almost three thousand years, and as such is widely recognized as being one of the key Old World wine regions which have shaped the way we understand and enjoy quality wines throughout history. Interestingly, the region is typified by a unique soil type which is not particularly good for growing grapevines, but in Tuscany, the emphasis has always been on quality over quantity, and low yields with high levels of flavor and intensity are preferred, and have become a feature of the region's wine industry. The main grape varietals grown in Tuscany are Sangiovese for the distinctive, flavorful and complex red wines, and Vernaccia for the exquisite dry white wines, although the last couple of decades have seen more varietals grown and an increasing trend towards 'Bordeaux style' wines.
For several decades in the mid to late twentieth century, Italy's reputation for quality wines took a fairly serious blow. This was brought about partly due to lack of regulation in certain regions, and too much regulation in others. This led to several wineries in the beautiful and highly fertile region of Tuscany making the bold move to work outside of the law, which they saw as responsible for the drop in quality in Tuscan wines. They believed that they had the expertise and the generations of experience necessary with which to make truly excellent, world class wines, and set about doing just that. These 'Super Tuscans', as they came to be known, quickly inspired the rest of Italy to improve their produce, and now, Italian wine producers in the twenty-first century are widely recognised to be amongst the best in the world. Regulation and law began to change, and wine drinkers across the globe woke up to the outstanding wines coming out of Italy, which are continuing to improve and impress to this day.