Vin Santo

Weinstile Vin Santo
Aromas Vin Santo

Probably the best-known wine from raisined grapes, if not the most famous sweet wine of Italy, is the Vin Santo of Tuscany. Innumerable restaurant visitors have been served the Tuscan Vin Santo with the almond biscuits Cantuccini. In almost every Tuscan wine-growing region, there are usually several types of Vin Santo with DOC status, but much more Vin Santo without DOC is is on sale. Besides many delicious Vin Santo, there are unfortunately still too many which because of mistakes do not offer drinking pleasure.

For the production of Vin Santo mostly white grapes are used, mainly Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia lunga, but up to a defined proportion other local grapes are permitted. The Occhio di Pernice (eye of guinea fowl) so-called whether its reddish color, is made mainly with Sangiovese and Malvasia nera. After the harvest the grapes are dried, as is customary for Passito. According to most DOC regulations, they wine has to be pressed at the earliest from 1 December and by 31 March of the following year at the latest. In the subsequent fermentation, an alcohol content of 15% to 17% by volume of alcohol is achieved. The wine must be stored in small wooden barrels for at least three years, or four years in the case of Riserva: many producers, however, have their Vin Santo aged longer. In some DOC areas there are sweet (dolce) as well as semi-sweet (semidolce), semi-dry (abbocato) and dry (secco) versions of the Vin Santo, with the last, dry version is reminiscent of a dry sherry fino. With the supplement liquoroso those wines are characterized that are produced in a very short time from sweet must and brandy and therefore have little to do with the style of the popular Vin Santo.

In former times Vin Santo was stored under roof in the Vinsantaia, so exposed to the summer heat. Because the fluid loss caused from the barrels by evaporation was not compensated, a strong oxidative ageing resulted, which is responsible for the typical notes of Vin Santo, such as dried apricot, honey, spices and nuts. Today, efforts are made to keep the wine more fresh by storing it at more constant temperatures.