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Tuscan Archipelago >> Typical products
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The viticulture on the islands of the Tuscan archipelago has very ancient origins, as in the whole Mediterranean basin. The expansion of the economical activity connected with the tourist sector has reduced the cultivated land for vineyards during the last years, changing the landscape on Elba and Giglio. On Elba the typical terraced vineyards that covered the hill slopes have disappeared for the Mediterranean bush and the forests, while the viticulture has moved to more plain areas, more adapted for the modern methods. During the first years of the 20th century the viticulture almost disappeared, but during the 20's a change in the cultivation took place and is still in progress. Some high-quality wine producers on Elba started an Association for Producers in 1987 which began to reorganise and modernise the sector. The Association has made some successful efforts such as the new control guarantee instead of the old and useless one from the 60's, the reintroduction of the muscat of Elba among the vines in the name of the local wine tradition, the proposal of new regulations against parasites. The Association of the producers was transformed into a Consortium for the protection of the wines of Elba only 2 years ago and represents more than 70% of the DOC grapes produced on the island. The Consortium is working on its first important project; the road itinerary of the Elban wine which will offer several services for all visitors who prefer a wine and gastronomic, rural holiday.
The DOC Wines of Elba
Elba Ansonica
It is made of 85% white ansonica grapes together with other green grapes authorised by the control board. The wine has an intense hay yellow colour and the taste is dry and smooth. Minimum alcoholic strength: 11,5%. Should be served at 10-12° and is perfect for dishes with scampi, prawns and shell-fish.

Elba Bianco
It is made of at least 50% Tuscan Trebbiano grapes (the local name for the this grape is Procanico), Ansonica and Vermentino grapes for not more than 50%, and other authorised green grapes for not more than 20%. The wine has a hay yellow colour, delicate perfume and a dry and harmonious taste. The minimum alcoholic strength is 11%. Served with hors d'oeuvre, rise or pasta with fish and without tomato sauce and steamed fish.

Elba Rosso
At least 60% Sangiovese grapes, with not more than 40% authorised blue grapes or with not more than 10% green grapes. It is a rich, ruby-red wine, fruity perfume and dry taste. Perfect for first courses with tomato and tomato-sauces, fish soup and barbecue meat.

Elba Rosso Riserva
It is made with the same grapes as the Elba Rosso dell'Elba, but then the wine ages for 24 months. The Rosso Riserva ages for at least 12 months in wood barrels and 6 months in bottle. The minimum alcoholic strength is 12,5% and you drink it to roast red meat, wild meat and seasoned cheese.

Elba Aleatico
This sweet wine were produced already during the Greeks and the Romans and is made with aleatic grapes which are chosen and then left to dry. It has a ruby-red intense colour and has a fruity perfume, sweet, full-bodied and harmonious taste. The minimum alcoholic strength is 16% and we suggest you to drink it with fruit pies, schiaccia briaca, cakes with creme and berries.

Elba Rosato
This wine is made with the same grapes as the Rosso dell'Elba, and has a pink colour, fresh perfume and dry taste. The minimum alcoholic strength is 11% and is a good choice for fish and shell-fish starters, soups, omelettes and vegetable soufflé.

Elba Moscato
100% dried muscat grapes. The colour of the wine shifts between intense hay yellow colour and amber. Nice, sweet taste, smooth and velvet taste. The minimum alcoholic strength is 16% and should be served at 10 to 12°. Drink it with pastries and cookies.

Elba Ansonica Passito
The wine is made with the Elba Ansonica grapes which have been dries in the sun. The colour shifts between intense hay yellow and amber, the perfume is intense and the taste is velvet to sweet. The minimum alcohol graduation is 15% and we suggest you to drink it with puff pastry or short pastry desserts, cookies and shiaccia briaca. Serve it at 12 - 14°.
The Wines of Giglio and Capraia
The ansonaco wine is produced on Giglio around Scopeto, Poggio delle Serre and Poggio del Verdello. The alcoholic strength is around 15%. The wine is hard to find in the wine-shops but you can find it in the wineries. A leech frond on the door indicates still today where you can buy wine. The wine production on Capraia is very low but you can find the white wine Rappa and the mirto, a typical sweet liquor from the island.

Photos from APT Tuscan Archipelago and Mediaweb srl.

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