The Wines of Southern Maremma
Ansonica Costa Dell’Argentario, DOC
Ansonica, or Ansonaco as it is known in Tuscany, is perhaps better known elsewhere as a native Sicilian grape called Inzolia, which is used in western Sicily to make Marsala. The grape made its way to Tuscany via some island hopping (as was often the case with places that have access to the sea), from Sicily to Sardinia to Tuscany’s Elba Island and then to Giglio Island and Monte Argentario. It is the principle component (making up 85%) of Ansonia Costa dell’Argentario, a dry slightly aromatic, golden hued white wine with bright acidity, made on Giglio Island and Monte Argentario. As you might imagine, this white wine is ideal for drinking with the unfussy, traditional seafood dishes of the area.
Bianco Di Pitigliano, DOC
A large wine-making area that includes the areas of Pitigliano, Sorano and as far up as Manciano and Scansion, this white wine was one of the first in Italy to receive DOC status in 1966. It is made mostly of Tuscan Trebbiano grapes (50%-80%), with the rest a mixture of other grapes, including Malvasia Bianco, Verdello, Greco, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. It makes a nice aperitivo, to drink before a meal or to drink alongside antipasti and with uncomplicated dishes of seafood or white meat. In Pitigliano, kosher wine is also made by the town’s historic wine cooperative, La Cantina Cooperativa di Pitigliano. A white and red are available under the label La Gerusalemme (little Jerusalem).
Wine has been made in this area since Etruscan and Roman times. Capalbio DOC is made around Capalbio toward Orbetello and up to Manciano and Magliano. It includes a number of wines, including Capalbio Rosso and Rose (both made with 50% Sangiovese), Capalbio Bianco and a deep, honey-coloured Vin Santo (dessert wine), which are qlwo varietal wines Capalbio Sangiovese, Capalbio Cabernet Sauvignon and Capalbio Vermentino, which are made with at least 85% of their namesake grape. The Capalbio Bianco, made with Trebbiano, would be ideal to wash down with some wild mushrooms
Morello Di Scansano DOC
Originating between the Ombre and Albegna rivers, this maremma wine is made not only in Scansano but also in the areas of Grosseto and Magliano in Toscana, close to the coast, and the internal areas of Roccalbegna, Semproniano, Campagnatico and Manciano. Morellino is the local name for Sangiovese, which is used as a minimum of 85% in this robust red wine. Some say the name comes from morello (dark, slightly sour cherries that are reminiscent of Sangiovese grapes). Morello di Scansano (particularily a young one that isn’t aged in wood at all) is all matched with a hearty seafood stew. such as Caldaro In the case of the Riserva, which is aged in wood, it would be good with a gamey dish.
Not far from Orbetello is La Parrina, the area where this wine is produced, largely by a beautiful, organic estate of the same name. Paring Bianco is the DOC’s best known wine, which is made with 30-50% Trebbiano, 30-50% Ansonia and Chardonnay. It’s an aromatic, dry white, which is perfect for drinking all summer long (we certainly can attest to this), paired with cold dishes, seafood and cheese. Meanwhile, Parrina Rosso and Rose are both made with 70-100% Sangiovese. When young Parrina Rosso (slightly chilled, even) is a good one for drinking with antipasto or even white meat.
Produced in the areas of Pitigliano, Sorano and Manciano, this red wine is made with at least 50% Sangiovese, plus a mixture of other red grapes, such as Aleatico, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s ideal for eating with wild boar (such as the Cinghiale in umido) or other game.