On the nose, delicate scents of lemon blossom and almonds have an herbaceous fennel-like edge. Crisp and
lively with a silky, mouth-filling texture, this medium-bodied white is richer than the average Vernaccia. The
zesty lemon-lime and almond flavors have a pleasant, lightly bitter edge and a streak of chalky minerality
that adds complexity to the finish.
Cherry, white peach, almond, Meyer lemon.
On the slopes northeast of the picturesque hill-town of San Gimignano, lies the town of Pancole,
considered to be among the best grape-growing areas in Tuscany. This being Chianti country, most of the
grapes grown here are red, but a small amount of white wine is made in San Gimignano from the crisp,
melony Vernaccia grape. In 1993, Vernaccia di San Gimignano won DOCG status. Roughly translated as
“Guaranteed and Controlled Place of Origin,” DOCG is the highest classification in Italian wine, reserved
for regions and grapes that historically have produced extraordinarily good wines. The estate has been in
the Ciappi family for several generations, and young Fernando and Lorenzo Ciappi—with the aid of
consulting enologist Luigino Casagrande—combine traditional production techniques with modern
viticultural practices to produce exemplary Vernaccias. Now that you have tasted the wine, you have to
visit San Gimignano.
Terrific as an aperitif, the Casa alle Vacche Vernaccia has enough richness to stand up to fish and poultry
dishes. Light, bright flavors will bring out the best in this white, so let “zesty” and “herbaceous” guide your
food pairings. Excellent choices include flaky white fish with fresh herbs or grilled chicken breasts with
citrus salsa. This wine is also extremely versatile and goes well with chicken, grilled fish, grilled shrimp or
salads. I like it with my Angry Prawns and White Bean Passatina.
San Gimignano is a wonderful, walled hill-town in the province of Siena, Tuscany. It is mainly famous for
its medieval architecture, most notably its 14 towers, which may be seen from several miles outside the