Vermentino grapes are widely grown in many parts of Europe and the New World, and are especially associated with the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, where they make up a majority of the white wine grapes cultivated. Vermentino is highly popular with vintners, as they are very easy to grow and require little specialist attention. Indeed, the vines are famously vigorous, and resistant to disease, meaning that high yields of reliable quality are commonplace in Vermentino vineyards. The wines themselves are usually a pale straw yellow in color, and relatively light in body and alcohol content. They normally hold bright, fresh flavors of green apple and lime, and are much loved for their freshness and zingy, acidic crispness. As such, they are commonly served alongside seafood, and are a highly pleasant wine to drink outside on a sunny day.
All over the stunning region of Tuscany in central Italy, you'll see rolling hills covered in green, healthy grapevines. This region is currently Italy's third largest producer of wines, but interestingly wineries here are generally happy with lower yields holding higher quality grapes, believing that they have a responsibility to uphold the excellent reputation of Tuscany, rather than let it slip into 'quantity over quality' wine-making as it did in the mid twentieth century. The region has a difficult soil type to work with, but the excellent climate and generations of expertise more than make up for this problem. Most commonly, Tuscan vintners grow Sangiovese and Vernaccia varietal grapes, although more and more varietals are being planted nowadays in order to produce other high quality wine styles.
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.