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Panizzi’s Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG wines

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Made for the pleasure of the table

Panizzi has long been one of the leading producers of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, having championed the variety and the appellation since its foundation in 1979, with Giovanni Panizzi playing a key role in elevating its recognition and the understanding of its quality potential.

Vernaccia was indeed the wine and variety first released by Panizzi, and remains the core of its range, steered by a terroir-driven, sustainable approach.

Thirty three years since Panizzi’s first vintage in 1989, the estate’s expressions of the leading Tuscan white wine are the object of wide critical acclaim, not least at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).

Leading Tuscan white

Vernaccia di San Gimignano was elevated to DOCG in 1993, after being the first Italian wine to be granted DOC status in 1966, affirming its place as the leading white wine of Tuscany. It grows on the tuff and sandstone-based soils around the village of San Gimignano, with its iconic towers serving as reminders of the variety’s long history in the region, with references dating back to 1276.

With its moderate aromatics, ranging from fresh white citrus to fleshy orchard fruit with floral touches, Vernaccia di San Gimignano has a trademark mineral edge, which evolves to a distinct flintiness with age. The variety’s development is not unlike other leading white varieties with mineral affinity (such as Riesling or Assyrtiko), with aromas slowly revealing a more honeyed, nutty character over time. Its elegance and structure integrate oak very well, and Riserva styles are increasingly being explored and prized for their age worthiness.

Vocation as food companion

The flinty elegance and subtle aromatic complexity of Vernaccia di San Gimignano make it a quintessential food wine, with its saline, mineral edge truly complementing a wide range of flavours and textures.

In its purest form, such as in Panizzi’s Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG (Silver medal, 91 points at the DWWA 2022), fermentation and lees ageing in stainless steel bring out expressive white stone fruit and citrus aromas, as well as a racy acidity and saline freshness. A profile that makes it an obvious companion to sushi, ceviche, vegetable & seafood tempura and creamy cheeses.

Fruit from older, low-yielding vines, such as those in Vigna di Santa Margherita, the founding plot of Panizzi, greater concentration of aromas produce wines with deeper flavours and creamier texture. In the Vigna Santa Margherita Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG (Silver medal, 90 points at the DWWA 2022) Panizzi underscores the intensity of the fruit by partially fermenting it in oak, adding spicy and nutty nuances to the fresh primary fruit. This savoury aspect and creaminess provide a perfect match for fish pasta dishes, herb roasted chicken, grilled sea bream and medium cured cheeses.

As mentioned, Vernaccia di San Gimignano also has incredible potential to produce age worthy wines, capable of developing beautifully in wood and in bottle. Panizzi has explored this intrinsic ability in its Riserva Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG (Gold medal, 95 points at the DWWA 2022), a single-vineyard expression, from a plot at 400 metres altitude fermented in new French oak barrels, where it then spends 12 months. The wine is then transferred to stainless steel tanks where it spends another seven months sur lie, before resting in bottle for 24 months prior to release.  Its flintiness, nutty roundness, fleshy fruit and outstanding length mean that this is a versatile pairing option, capable of enhancing both strong and subtle flavours; fresh seafood, buttered lobster, salt-baked fish, mixed paella or a variety of cheeses will all find a perfect complement in this flagship Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

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