Italian Dessert Wine Vin Santo

Description of the wine: It is a raisin wine created also, but not only, from the drying of the grapes. This wine is typically rich and complex, with a degree of sweetness always well balanced between acidity and extract, a minimum of volatile aroma and especially enchanting scents that go from yellow fruits jam, to chestnut honey, to honeydew. Then, it has hints of wild berries of autumn, resin, pine needles, iodine, candy and ginger. A small world that encloses in a glass almost a compendium of the seasons that the wine has spent in oak barrels. Organoleptic Characteristics: Its color ranges from pale straw yellow to golden yellow, to amber. Its aroma is ethereal, intense, characteristic. In the mouth it is balanced, velvety, dry (with a more round aroma for the sweetish and sweet types). Historical-cultural information and curiosities: There are various theories about the origin of the name of this wine: it is said that a monk cured leprosy-ridden patients with the same wine he used during the Mass with his brothers. From here, the belief that this drink was miraculous, and "santo" (holy). A second hypothesis derives from a misunderstanding: the greek Cardinal Giovanni Bessarione, drinking this wine at the Council of Florence, referring to the Greek Santorini island (which reminded him of the same scents of the drink) called it Xantos, or perhaps referring to the yellow color of the wine, called it Xanthos. Other assumptions of the epithet "santo" (holy) refer to the ancient tradition of drinking this wine during the Holy Week. Serving suggestions: Traditionally accompanies Cantuccini di Prato. Therefore, it is a dessert wine, although it is excellent with mature cheese and typical appetizers (eg Crostini with chicken livers). Production area: It is produced both in Chianti and in Chianti Classico area (Colli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane, Colli Aretini), in Carmignano, Rufina, but also in Montepulciano, always with escellent results. Production techniques: The grapes are harvested at their full ripeness, but still with a good content of acidity. They are then allowed to dry for a period ranging from two to four months, paying particular attention that grapes remain sane and not attacked by mould, while resting hanging on racks, or when they are lying on the traditional wickers in well-ventilated areas. The grapes are then pressed gently and the must is placed in typical barrels, very similar in wood and size to those used for balsamic vinegar, and then sealed. The fermentation is then carried out in a spontaneous manner, following the seasonal trend, because the barrels are sealed and stored in places such as attics of towers, where they are exposed to extreme temperatures, very hot in summer and very rigid in winter: all this leads to various fermentations that start and stop according to the changing seasons, oxidizing the wine and making it similar to certain Madeira or Sherry. At the end of the years of passage within the oak barrels, it is time to break the seals, taste the wine from the different barrels and assemble it to obtain a homogeneous product. Grape varieties allowed for its production: The grapes used are typically Malvasia and Trebbiano, but also Grechetto or Pulcinculo (Montepulciano).