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Montenidoli Vin Brusco
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Vin Brusco is a tradition in San Gimignano: it was the white wine the farmers made from grapes culled from the Chianti vineyards. Come harvest, they began by gathering the white grapes, pressed them in the tank, took the free-run must to make Vin Brusco, and then continued with the harvest of the red grapes, which they added to the skins of the white grapes, which thus contributed to the red wines.

The white grapes were, according to the old rules governing Chianti production, Trebbiano and Malvasia Bianca.

Trebbiano is the latest-ripening of the four grape types that were planted in the vineyards, but people accepted this because the harvest was a single passage through the vineyards, whose timing was dictated by the ripeness of the red grapes. The considerable acidity imparted by the Trebbiano helped the wine keep, but also made it Brusco, in other words "brusque wine."

In 1966 Vernaccia became Italy's first DOC wine and captured the attentions of both the Sangimignanesi and the market, with the result that Vin Brusco was set aside and quickly forgotten.

In 1978 Montenidoli revived this wine: The grapes are harvested when perfectly ripe, the cold must macerates on the skins, fermentation is temperature controlled, and the wine rests on its lees until it is bottled as Vinbrusco.

Montenidoli's Vinbrusco has many admirers: The first among many was the late Franco Colombani, chief of the European Sommeliers, who offered it year after year in his restaurant, Ristorante Il Sole di Maleo, and selected it to accompany the historic menus he created.

Food-Wine Pairing: Cold cuts, canned fish, tuna, sardines, anchovies, fish-based antipasti, meats and vegetables, sweetbreads, rabbit, white asparagus, and tannic foods such as artichokes, or iron-rich foods such as liver or spinach. Excellent with saffron and Oriental dishes.