The term “Super Tuscan” has been used since the 1980s to describe a wine made from grapes indigenous to Tuscany, which may be blended with non-indigenous grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah. There is no legal definition for the term “Super Tuscan” in Italian wine law, and these blends fit only under a lower wine classification within the law, because the higher classifications restrict which grapes can be used.
Italy is the world’s largest producer of wine, representing about a quarter of the world’s production. According to Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MIPAAF), there are 350 grapes that have been granted an authorized status plus at least an additional 500 documented, but not officially authorized local varieties. One of these documented grapes is the ancient Sicilian grape variety called “Frappato.”
White grapes usually have their juice separated from their skins prior to fermentation, thereby avoiding additional color, tannins and other flavor components found in the skins (phenols). In recent years, there has been interest in producing white wines more like red wines, wherein the grape juice is in contact with the skins and seeds during fermentation.
Thomas Jefferson, a big proponent and consumer of wine, toasted the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 with Madeira. Following George Washington’s inauguration on April 30, 1789, Madeira was served.
Petit Manseng is a high-acid white grape that has its origins in southwestern France in the region of Béarn.