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History

Wine has been made in San Gimignano for centuries, and not just Vernaccia. In actual fact, the production of red wine has always been superior in terms of quantity to that of white. The farms of San Gimignano have always been recognised by wine traders for the quality and character of the red wines produced. Starting from this situation, in 1996 the first production regulations were drawn up with the dual intent of lending visibility and specificity to the red wines and to the Vinsanto produced in the area. The DOC created was defined as a spin-off DOC in relation to the Chianti Colli Senesi DOC, but the experimentation, research performed by the estates and the resulting wines soon highlighted the limits of these regulations, leading to radical amendments in 2003 and to a subsequent review just before the 2011 grape harvest.

Vinsanto also has a long and traditional fame in San Gimignano. In farming families, guests were always welcomed with a glass of Vinsanto, made in the "Vinsantaie" in small casks and employing techniques and procedures handed down from father to son. To lend visibility to this product and coordinate its territorial specificity, in 1996 the first production regulations were formulated along with those for San Gimignano Rosso; these were adjusted and implemented in 2003.

The human factors linked to the production territory are of fundamental importance and, thanks to consolidated tradition, they have contributed to obtaining red wines in San Gimignano: indeed the presence of viticulture in the San Gimignano area dates back to Etruscan times, with a large amount of archaeological evidence. For centuries, the production and sale of wine was the main farming and economic activity, not related exclusively to the famous Vernaccia di San Gimignano but also to red wines; in actual fact, the production of red wine has always been superior in terms of quantity to that of white.

Between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, San Gimignano’s vineyards produced both white wine and “Vermiglio”, an already highly esteemed full-bodied red wine.

The tradition for the production of Vinsanto in San Gimignano also dates back hundreds of years, with the first evidence going back to 1348, when a Franciscan monk tried to placate the agonies of those suffering from the plague with a sweet wine that earned itself the name “Vinsanto” (Holy Wine).

Starting from this situation, in 1996 the first production regulations were drawn up with the intent of lending visibility and specificity to the red wines and to the Vinsanto produced in the area, updating the vinification techniques and introducing the use of other red grape varieties to complement Sangiovese. This brings us up to the present-day situation, described by the production regulations currently in force, which are the product of tradition and innovation, focusing on making wines of better and better quality.