Cortona DOC

Cortona DOC is a denomination that mainly encompasses red, white and Vin Santo, three types of wines produced in the territory of the pearl of the Val di Chiana Aretina on the border with Umbria. In fact, the Cortona area has all the characteristics needed for the cultivation of vines, such as its ancient river and alluvial terraces. The soils are generally not very calcareous and have an excellent balance of grain size fractions consisting of clay, silt, and coarse and fine sands. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rosso, Sangiovese, Syrah, Chardonnay, Grechetto Vin Santo and Occhio di Pernice come from these vines, which magnificently characterise the landscape surrounding this ancient Etruscan Lucumonia, as a sign of excellence. The wines of Cortona have been mentioned throughout the ages. In the 1st century A.D. Pliny the Elder describes the delicious taste of a fine white wine named Ethesiaca. The Renaissance pontiff Paolo III Farnese had large quantities of the wine from these vineyards brought to Rome. The poet Giosuè Carducci sought inspiration in front of a barrel of the “stupendous wine” of Cortona. The Consorzio Vini Cortona DOC, established in 2000, oversees control, protection and valorisation of the approximately sixty wineries that include historical and more recent brands. Syrah today accounts for about 80% of production in the Cortona DOC territory. The vine has French origins – a genomic DNA study found that the Rhone river valley is its birthplace – and may have arrived in Tuscany in the early 20th century with the Count of Montecarlo returning from a trip to France. However, another hypothesis is that it was imported by Napoleon’s troops a century earlier. The first recent evidence of Syrah being used in Cortona to produce quality wines dates back to the 1960s, when some private companies found traces of it in their vineyards, and decided to cultivate it. In the 1970s, the University of Milan performed extensive investigations on the genomic origin by analysing the soil and climate characteristics of this border area of Tuscany. The research showed similarities between Cortona’s climate and the French Rhône coast, which is a wine-growing area recognised worldwide as the home of Syrah, a ruby red wine with an elegant bouquet and a dry, balanced taste. It has found its second home in Cortona.