Wine and Culture: Carmignano DOCG


In the previous posts, we mentioned many superb Tuscan wines but there are still so many more worth mentioning.

One such is the excellent Carmignano DOCG Tuscan wine, the favourite of Cosimo III de’ Medici (1642-1723).

The Carmignano wine region is located about 16 kilometres northwest of Florence, around the city of Carmignano.

Wine has been produced in this region since Etruscan times, and it has been noted for the excellent quality of its wine since the Middle Ages.

The first written document to mention Carmignano dates back to 1396, and it pertained to a large order of this great wine.

In the 17th century, Carmignano was also mentioned by the famous poet Francesco Redi (1626-1697) in his ‘Bacco in Toscana’ in which he compliments its quality.

But I think the most interesting fact about this excellent wine is that it can be considered a precursor to the Super Tuscans, as wine makers began to blend the Tuscan Sangiovese grape with Cabernet imported from France by the Medici family from the 17th century onwards. Up until today the Cabernet is still called ‘uva Francesca’ – ‘French grape’ – in this zone.

The year of 1716 was important for Carmignano wine, as this was when the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III de’ Medici, issued an edict identifying the areas of Tuscany (Chianti, Pomino, Carmignano and Val d’Arno di Sopra) that produced the highest quality wine and determined the boundaries within which these wines could be produced. This edict can be considered a forerunner to the concept of the future DOC classification.

On 28 April 1975, Carmignano wine was awarded an autonomous DOC – as the first case when the use of Cabernet as a blend was officially sanctioned – and in 1990 it was upgraded to a DOCG wine.

According to the regulation of production of the Consorzio Carmignano, a Carmignano DOCG wine must be made of at least 50% Sangiovese grape, and it can comprise a maximum of 20% Canaiolo Nero, 10-20% Cabernet Frank and/or Cabernet Sauvignon, a maximum of 10% Trebbiano Toscano and/or Canaiolo Bianco, and/or Malvasia del Chianti.

The aging period for Carmignano DOCG is 1 year, and it needs at least 2 years for Riserva.

The Carmignano DOC still exists, but it is used for Vin Santo and Rosé wines.



Camignano, Italy- flickr

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