One of the most important white wines of Italy is the Vernaccia di San Gimignano whose history dates back centuries
It seems that vineyards were introduced to this area for the first time around the year 1.200, and even the famous poet Dante Alighieri wrote about this fine wine in The Divine Comedy. Starting from the XIII century the trade of Vernaccia started to boom all over the area.
Vernaccia probably takes its name from the Latin “vernaculum” which means “local” or “native”. This would explain the multiplicity of grapes that go under this name in Italy. Vernaccia di Oristano in Sardinia and the red Vernaccia di Serrapetrona in the Marche region are just two good examples.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano was the first wine in Italy to receive the DOC (Denominazione Origine Controllata) appellation in 1966 and the first white wine from Tuscany to receive the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) appellation in 1993.
It can only be produced inside the municipality of San Gimignano and the grapes used can be a blend with a minimum 85% of Vernaccia di San Gimignano and a maximum of 15% of other non-aromatic white grapes. If produced in the Riserva version, one year of ageing in wood is required.
The whole production is controlled by the Consorzio della Vernaccia di San Gimignano, founded in 1972 to protect the name and the quality of this wine and to help the producers promote it all over the world. The number of producers and bottlers is now at 70.
Tasting the Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Characteristic elements of the wine are its faint light yellow color, almost golden, refined aromas, dry taste, and slightly bitter aftertaste.
Excellent pairing with fish dishes, first courses with white sauces, mixed deep-fry, eggs, and white meat. It can also be served as an aperitif and with appetizers in general.