Grapes of Tuscany

A Traditional Chianti Landscape A Traditional Chianti Landscape Grape varieties indigenous to Tuscany

(mainly on Elba for dessert wines) - some think may originate from Greece

Canaiolo Nero – until 1970 formed the basis, with Sangiovese, of Chianti Classico and other Chianti-type wines, as well as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


Ciliegiolo - seems to have arrived in Tuscany from Spain in 1870. Has been ‘re-discovered’ since 1990s in new wines with good results.

Colorino - remote origin, widely grown in Tuscany. Gives a good colour to wine and is often used with other grape varieties.

Malvasia Bianca lunga - widely grown on Chianti hills from where it is thought to originate. Limited use today, especially since white grapes are no longer allowed to be used in Chianti Classico Docg. A fundamental element of Vin Santo, also made with Trebbiano Toscano.

Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese grosso) -indigenous to the commune of Montepulciano  and is important in this area.

Sangiovese (Sangiovese piccolo)  - the kind of Sangiovese usually used for Chianti wines. The name is thought to come from sanguis jovis, or the blood of Jove (Jupiter). One of the most ancient grape varieties in Italy and most widely grown, also offers best quality wines. Originated in Tuscany.

Trebbiano Toscano - of Etruscan origins, one of most commonly grown varieties in Italy, mainly in Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. Used to be blended into Chianti Classico wines, now goes into simpler Chiantis, light white wines, and Vin Santo.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano - imported either from Liguria, from Spain or Greece, has become popular again in the last few decades. Grown only in the San Gimignano area.

Other Grape Varieties
: also being used in Tuscany are the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot together with Sangiovese, often producing some excellent results.

Related articles:

Wines from Tuscany

DOC and DOCG Wine Denominations

The Wine Roads of Tuscany