Wine and Culture: Suvereto DOCG


Suvereto is a beautiful Tuscan town of only 3,000 inhabitants in the southern part of Livorno province. This gorgeous little town is situated in the Val di Cornia (Cornia Valley) on the Costa degli Etruschi (Etruscan Coast) and is the home to the Suvereto DOCG wine, one of the most exciting Tuscan wines.

Even the name of the town is very descriptive and seems to relate to wine; it comes from the Latin ‘suber’ meaning ‘cork’, so Suvereto means cork wood.

The Suvereto wine region developed from the Val di Cornia region, as it was a sub- zone of the latter for some time. The Val di Cornia wine region covered Suvereto, Sassetta, Piombino, San Vincenzo, Campiglia Marittima and Monteverdi Marittimo. The Val di Cornia DOC title was introduced in 1989, from 2000 ‘Suvereto’ could appear on the label next to the Val di Cornia title and in 2011 it earned its own DOCG title.

The Suvereto shares its winemaking history with Val di Cornia and dates back to Etruscan times and to the Romans who developed viticulture in the zone.

In the 14th century, the powerful and noble Della Gherardesca family increased winemaking activities in Suvereto.

In the 18th century, the formation of the Accademia dei Georgofili (Academy of Georgofili) was a major impetus to the region, as the historic institution opened new horizons for agricultural research.

In the middle of the 19th century, new vineyards and wineries popped up, and in 1886 five Suvereto producers participated in the World Fair in Rome.

Thanks to the persistent work of the wine makers of the zone, the Val di Cornia DOC was recognised in 1989 followed in 2000 by the Suvereto as a sub-zone.

Suvereto wine grew out of the Val di Cornia wine region due to the continuous excellent quality of wine producing, though it needed another decade to earn a own DOCG title for its Merlot and Cabernet blend, and for the Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot based red wines in November 2011.

According to production regulations, the Suvereto DOCG must be made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and the Suvereto Sangiovese DOCG, Suvereto Merlot DOCG and Suvereto Caubernet Sauvignon DOCG should comprise at least 85% of the stated variety.

Placing such an emphasis on two Bordeaux varieties in a Tuscan wine is very rare and interesting. But it seems less surprising if we consider the fact that Suvereto is just a few kilometres from Bolgheri, the birthplace of the most famous Italian wines, the Super Tuscan Sassicaia and Ornellaia.

That is one reason why Suvereto is such an exciting and forward-looking Tuscan DOCG wine.