Yes, the Leaning Tower! It doesn’t matter who you are: a hungry for sightseeing traveller or a thursty wine-lover, this is a place to visit! Ironically this wonder of ancient architechture as well as the charming town of Pisa itself are hidden from all the major winemaking sites of Pisa province in the opposite corner of this coastal reserve of nature, historical values and wine treasures.
As though emphasizing this controversy many vineyards of coastal Pisa province are distant from the coast. They are classified as Chianti or Colli Etruria Centrale DOC and mostly concentraded in a triangle formed by the towns of Cascina, San Miniato and Terricciola. This area is characterized by central Tuscany landscape where high hills alternated with valleys and lowlands sheltering villages and agricultural estates. By obvious geographical and historical reasons this part of province was always under strong Chianti influence, nevertheless during last couple of decades it has been revolutinized with a new approach to winemaking. Today this land produces traditional not-expensive Chianti wines of decent quality as well as highly rated complex reds proving the success of recently initiated changes.
Another production zone is formed in southern part of the province, which lies close to Livorno’s star Bolgheri. In the 1990s innovatory winemaking activity spread from Bolgheri to the gentle slopes behind the coastal town of Cecina, where Montescudaio DOC has been established. Before that this DOC appellation was practically unknown, allowing to produce mostly inexpressive Sangiovese based reds. Later on appeared that vineyards around Montescudaio hold even greater potential than expected.
As with all the areas of the Tuscan coast sea breezes in Pisa mean that the climate is mild and differences between the seasons are far less noticeable than they are in many other parts of Tuscany, for example in Chianti Classico inlands.
Naturally many Pisan estates work with Sangiovese and have Sangiovese-dominant wines; there are also Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, also Syrah. White varieties are not forgotten represented by Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, apart of locally traditional Trebbiano Toscano and Vermentino.
Generally the best Pisa wines are usually marked as Toscana IGT — they are supertuscan, in reality. At the same time some best producers of Montescudaio DOC, for instance, are proved to be capable of producing respectable full-bodied red wines with a strong personality.
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