The “Bianco” in Montalcino – The Sant’Antimo Bianco
As we have seen, the ancient history of wine in Montalcino is born with a white, Moscadello, while in modern times, it is the Sangiovese that has truly made this territory great in the world. A sign of the times without a doubt because wine changes with the times, like economic, commercial, gastronomic and technological dynamics. Just think of champagne, which was born in a territory that gave the world mostly uninteresting white wines until that fateful moment.
However, as in any major wine region, it is difficult to reduce the entire production to just one vine or wine, however important. Staying in France for this parallelism, from the two most important and prestigious vine harvesting sites, Bordeaux and Burgundy, alongside the best red wines in the world, equally important whites are born. Château d’Yquem, the most expensive white in the world, is a Sauternes born on the banks of the Gironde, while in Côte de Beaune, next to the best Pinot Noirs, there are the greatest interpretations of the Chardonnay, which has been cultivated here and vinified for centuries.
And Montalcino? Montalcino has only recently rediscovered the pleasure of producing white wine, starting from the Vermentino, very popular in the Tuscan coast, but also capable of expressing itself very well also on the southern slope of the Montalcino territory. Then we have all the vines authorized in Tuscany, above all Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio, but also Trebbiano, which is the vine from which the Vin Santo is produced, a sweet wine with a very long tradition, in Tuscany as in Umbria. A production, the bianchista, which has rarely reached great qualitative peaks (at least until now), but one which proposes very interesting declensions, oftentimes such as Toscana Igt, but also as Sant’Antimo Doc, a denomination born in very recent times (in 1996) for responding to an increasingly stringent need of Montalcino producers: having an umbrella to “shelter” everything extraordinary that can be produced by a territory strongly linked to Sangiovese and its champion, Brunello.
Sant’Antimo Doc Production Regulations
Production area: Historical boundary of the Municipality of Montalcino.
Variety: All those authorized in Tuscany, with specific limitations for the types with the name of the vine and for the Vin Santo
Maximum grape yield: 90 quintals per hectare for whites and for Sant’Antimo Rosso, 80 quintals per hectare for the other reds
Grape yield in wine: 70%, 31.5% for Vin Santo
Color, smell, taste, alcohol content, minimum total acidity, minimum net dry extract: Varies according to the different types
Bottling: It can be performed only in the province of Siena