Wine Grape: Vernaccia

Nope, we did not just sneeze. Remember the name, because Vernaccia is the go-to grape for transitional weather — that means you, fall.

The many towers of San Gimignano – at its peak 72 – epitomize the feudal one-upsmanship of Tuscany. Fittingly, here lies the epicenter for Vernaccia, a white grape winning popularity contests worldwide.  Most famously used in Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a wine ever present here -- almost every osteria boasts it as their house white, with prices ranging from few Euro to 30 or 40 Euro per bottle. While still thought of as a light table wine, Vernaccia producers have great scope, and some even age in oak. Nevertheless, it is a wine for drinking versus cellaring, which makes it one of our favorites.

Taste profile:  Light, with moderate acidity, crisp with floral, citrus and tart stone fruit notes, Vernaccia is a more gentle, aromatic alternative to a Sauvignon Blanc. Sometimes blended with other Italian white grapes such as Tribbiano.

Aging: Meant to be consumed young, to preserve its crisp, refreshing, lightly fruity charm. There is a “Riserva” category for wines aged 12 months, at least 4 in bottle.

Lydia Strohl