At the heart of Paolo de Marchi’s wine-making philosophy is his sense of what is typically Tuscan. Amid the over-extracted, cabernet-influenced wines produced in Tuscany today, Paolo’s elegant renditions of Chianti quietly exalt the beauty of Sangiovese.

Supple, well balanced, and perfumed in every vintage, they have become an illustration for younger producers of what pristine agriculture, high-density vineyards and meticulous fermentation can achieve. Fennel, and porcini-infused earth form the backdrop for fine, black cherry fruit, while silky tannins and mouth-watering fruit acids allow Paolo’s wines to linger gracefully on the palate. Roasted sausage and Sugo di Coniglio are natural accompaniments.

quick pairing recommendations for red wines from this region
Grilled Rib Eye, Pork Shoulder Roasts, Grilled Veal Chops. Sage and Rosemary are recommended herbs.

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regionTuscany’s influence on viticulture has been profound and indelible. Etruscan artifacts and the fossilized remains of indigenous vinifera rootstock indicate an advanced wine culture as far back as 800 BC. Their methods profoundly influenced the Romans, whose tenacity spread them throughout most of the Mediterranean and as far north as the Rhine. Rome’s penchant for agricultural inventiveness refined the Etruscan techniques (mostly how vines were best pruned and trained) and set the stage for succeeding developments in the wine trade.

The Rinaiscimento brought to prominence many of the noble Tuscan families: Antinori, Ricasoli, and Ruffino became symbols of Tuscany’s political and economic importance and were responsible in good part for the expansion of trade and increased respect for Florence’s wines.

References to Chianti as a “wine from a particular place” appear in the trading documents of Francesco Datini in the fourteenth century, but its present boundaries were not defined until Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, issued an edict in 1716. The same boundaries still define Chianti “Classico” today.

Tuscany is perhaps the quintessential Italian landscape. Its gentle, rolling hills are graced with fields of sunflowers, grapevines, and olive orchards. The region’s beautiful hill towns still mesmerize travelers with the promise of an extraordinary meal.

The Chianina cattle, (used in the famous bistecca alla Fiorentina), chickens known as Livornesi, rabbit, wild boar, pigeon and woodcock are all raised or farmed in the region.

But olive oil is what makes Tuscan food so unmistakably Tuscan. Rather than a dressing, the oil is the basis for nearly every dish. Food is sauteed and fried in it, soups are finished benedette – given a last-minute benediction by spooning oil into them – and every vegetable is made tastier with a couple of tablespoons of local olive oil.

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