FLORENCE, ITALY

By Decanter

07 DECEMBER 2013

For aesthetes and gourmands alike, a visit to Florence – capital of Italy’s Tuscan wine region – is a must.

DOCG wine regions:

Chianti: 24,000 hectares under vine; 2,900 producers.

Chianti Classico: 7,500ha; 901 producers.

Chianti Colli Fiorentini: 905ha; 74 producers.

Brunello di Montalcino: 2,000ha; 284 producers.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano: 773ha; 167 producers.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano: 1,234ha; 261 producers

Quick links:

- Six of the best estates to visit

- Where to stay, shop, eat and relax

- Tip of the day: Italian wine regions - Tuscany

Introduction:

One of the most historical and enchanting cities in the world, Florence has all the makings of a decadent dream of delicious food and wine. Unfortunately, the reality is more of a nightmare for wine lovers who must share the city with thousands of visitors each year, and manoeuvre around the minefield of tourist traps. For every piazza, museum, gallery, theatre, bridge and palace, there are dozens of ‘authentic, family-owned’ establishments ready to charge you three times the going rate for a slice of pizza and a glass of Chianti from an outdated straw flask. Visitors come and go, believing Florence hasn’t changed, and that its antiquity extends to its wine scene.

But dig deeper, and there’s an alternative side to Florence’s wine scene that is growing dynamically. Young local wine lovers, foreigners with innovative ideas and new businesses are the pulse of Florence’s underground wine world. The same students of wine, now gaining a global perspective from the city’s recently established Wine & Spirit Education Trust courses and sommelier school, are influencing what people drink – and how.

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