What is a 'Super Tuscan'?
'Super Tuscans' refer to highly appreciated and innovative wines in the Tuscan region that do not meet specified growing or grape variety regulations and restrictions (the use of international grape varieties vs local grape varieties only), whether by the winemaker’s choice or simply because they geographically fell out of a legally defined area such as Chianti. Tuscan winemakers started introducing international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to their Sangiovese-based blends, and the results blew everyone away. Today, these red blends have become increasingly popular all over the world and winemakers like Toccata’s Megan McGrath Gates even takes inspiration from them for her Mission Red Blend, featured in this month’s delivery.
What is a ‘Field Blend Wine’?
As the name suggests, Field Blend Wines are single-vineyard wines whose grapes are grown, harvested and vinified together – therefore the blending is done in the vineyard, not in the winery. Field Blended Vineyards are interplanted with multiple grape varieties – sometimes all red or all white, and sometimes both red and white. The whole field is picked at once, and all of the grapes are fermented together. For centuries, European farmers made Field Blend Wines, and although now uncommon, this tradition of making Field Blend Wines does still exist in winemaking regions around the world and the wines from this process often reach another level of complexity, balance, and elegance that is very difficult to reach in other blended wines.
Originally published in the Wine Wizard section of The Wine Press newsletter, Toccata Wines edition.