In 1877, Illario and Leopoldo Ruffino laid the foundations of their dream to make the most known and loved Italian wines in the world from the heart of Tuscany. At their winery in Pontassieve, just outside of Florence, they began producing wines according to a strict quality standard and a rigorous technical research. Soon, Ruffino became an international symbol of the Chianti region, and won numerous awards, including the prestigious gold medal at the Bordeaux Wine Fair in 1895, affirming the quality of its wine.
In 1913, the Folonari family purchased Ruffino and brought new talent, energy and enthusiasm into the company. They started on a nearly century-long pursuit to develop a collection of estates in Tuscany, all of which matched the standard of quality and uniqueness which was the trademark of Ruffino wine.
Over the last sixty years, Ruffino has established seven prominent estates in Tuscany, all situated within the major DOCG production regions including Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Chianti Classico. Today, Ruffino continues to meld century-long Tuscan traditions with new state-of-the-art cellar technology and modern winemaking for an ideal symbiosis with the energy of the contemporary Italian lifestyle.
Learn More About Pinot Gris/Grigio
Pinot Gris/Grigio (PEE-noh gree/GREE-jee-oh) While Pinot Grigio is in fact the same grape as Pinot Gris (just the Italian take on it), the differences of wine they create can be immense. Pinot Gris' most popular and successful region is Alsace, France, an area of the country that actually puts the name of the grape on the label. Pinot Grigio is the Italian version of the grape, known for its light, crisp acidity. But wines from other regions usually term their wine Pinot Gris or Grigio based on the wine's flavor profile.
Notable Facts Pinot Gris from Alsace creates rich, stone fruit-laden wines. They are perfumed and aromatic, and typically dry. It has round body and medium acidity. Take the grape a bit south to Italy, and it creates a very crisp, high-acid, citrus noted wine. Both are flavorful, but wine named Pinot Gris typically provides more body and rounder fruits while Pinot Grigio gives lighter-bodied, citrus fruits. Oregon and California are also growing the grape, Oregon having success with a more Alsacian style and California producing both. Winemakers often call the wine by the style they wish to replicate - for Italian style, look for Pinot Grigio, for the Alsacian style, look for Pinot Gris. In Alsace, Pinot Gris can also makes wine with some residual sugar. It's capable of creating delicious dessert wines in the region.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Alsace, Italy, Oregon, California
Common Descriptors: peach, pear, floral, citrus
Learn More About Tuscany, Italy
One of the most important wine regions in Italy, Tuscany is home to the cities of Florence and Siena, the districts of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, and the wineries of Sassicaia, Tignanello and Ornellaia. Tuscany is also home to the indigenous Italian grape variety, Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
The most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the
1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.