Winemaking here was first documented around the 6th century BC, when Etruscans began to systematically cultivate grapes to make wine. In the Middle Ages, merchants from Siena made wine to be sold in Florence, where in 1282 the Arte dei Vinattieri (winemakers’ guild) was founded.
During the Renaissance, wine of quality started to emerge, from grapes such as Vernaccia and Montepulciano. Like most of the world’s leading wine regions, Tuscany has a broad range of microclimates, stretching from the coasts of Bolgheri and the Maremma, to the centre including Montalcino and Montecucco.
Tuscany also is home to something no other region of Italy has seen – the Super Tuscans, red wines developed during the 1970s and 1980s, experiments in high quality with grapes not indigenous to the region. Examples include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, often blended with Sangiovese and aged in French oak.