Bolgheri Wine Region Guide

Unveiling Tuscan Treasures — Where Tradition Meets Innovation in Every Bottle


Last updated: April 26, 2024


Tuscany’s western coastline, running from Livorno to as far south as the Argentario Peninsula, is an anomalous part of central Italy’s wine landscape. Unlike Chianti Classico and Montalcino, these rocky hills have no long-standing tradition of viticulture; cultivators did not plant the first vines until the 20th century, and authorities did not award Bolgheri a standalone appellation until 1994. One Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta lit the flame in the 1940s after he planted some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc on his wife’s San Guido estate in Bolgheri. Encouraged by his nephews Piero and Lodovico Antinori, Rochetta started to market Sassicaia in the late 1960s. However, the watershed moment was a Decanter blind tasting in 1978: Sassicia outperformed several First-Growths, much to the surprise of the assembled panel.

Suddenly, the global wine trade began to notice Bolgheri and its exceptional soils, located northwest of Grosseto, close to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Thanks to decades of investment and a rash of critical and consumer adulation, it has become one of Tuscany’s most important fine wine regions.

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James lawrence

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