The fame of the VERNACCIA di SAN GIMIGNANO grape and wine – which is actually originally the VERNACCIA DI PIETRAFITTA – dates back over the centuries and is testified by numerous historical documents, Official Acts and passages of literature. The introduction into the San Gimignano area around 1200 is mainly attributed to the Ligurian Vieri de ‘Bardi, while it seems that Zanobi and Angiolo de’ Bardi, Vieri’s heirs, developed the cultivation of this precious grape. Some conflicting sources claim, on the other hand, that a certain Perone Peroni, coming from Greece, would have planted it for the first time in Pietrafitta in 1280. However, this thesis clashes with the evidence found in the “Regulations of the Gabella of the Municipality of San Gimignano” of 1276, which testify to the flourishing of the Vernaccia trade, which soon became famous on the tables of the nobles and rich people of Tuscany, and then in the rest of Tuscany. ‘Italy. The inaccuracies on the origins arise from the fact that the Ligurian Vernaccia and the Greek Wine were produced at the same time in the municipal area.
The value of Vernaccia wine is closely linked to the environment that produces it: a sum of factors ranging from the nature of the soil, a mixture of sand and white tuff furrowed by deep veins of clay, typical of the Pliocene hills of Pietrafitta, at the average height of the hills, to the dry climate of these expanses open to the soft winds of the Elsa valleys.
The vine gives off cottony shoots tinged with purple, which it covers with quinquolobate leaves with narrow breasts and deep conical clusters, saturated with round berries, wrapped in a golden-yellow skin. It needs careful and diligent care, to offer a generous, alcoholic, dry, slightly bitter, velvety wine, aged in oak barrels in the deep cellars dug into the tuff of the San Gimignano slopes. “In short, says Targioni-Tozzetti (Rel. Fi, 1774), this is a white wine, indeed with so little color, that it seems like water, and is gentle on the palate”, Vincenzo Coppi in 1690, defines it in his Annals “A very delicate white wine, which makes in the Sangimignano territory one of the best and most grateful wines made in Italy”.
The result of an almost millenary tradition, Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a unique white both for its sensory characteristics and for the historical events that have accompanied it. It can be considered the oldest Italian wine among those with a controlled designation of origin.