**This article first appeared in Santé Magazine May 2023**
Who has not fallen in love with Tuscany? Its history, food, wine, rolling hills and picturesque villages make it a destination for every wine lover. Discover Maremma, an upcoming region within Tuscany that is garnering huge accolades and respect. Maremma is an exciting region that is vast, wild and untouched.
Discover Maremma – Unique Terroir
Based in the Grosetto province, Maremma is a paradise situated along the beautiful Tyrrhenian Coast from Livorno in the north to Lazio in the south. The interior parts of the regions range from the Metalliferous Hills to Mount Amiata. It is in these interiors that you find soft gentle hills that are ideally suited for vineyards. Maremma’s uniqueness is its varying terroirs from the mountains to the sea, with varied soil composition, coastal breezes and warm climate.
Maremma differentiates itself from its other Tuscan counterparts, here you find indigenous and foreign grape varieties. This unique region of Tuscany is no longer purely identified with Sangiovese grapes. Pioneering efforts in the early 1990’s lead to the cultivation of indigenous grape varieties like Ciliegiolo, Canaiolo Nero, Alicante, Sangiovese, Pugnitello, Aleatico, Vermentino, Trebbiano, Ansonica, Malvasia and Grechetto. Later it expanded to include foreign grape varieties such as the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Viognier, Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Petit Verdot. Maremma is the new frontier of Tuscany, with more relaxed rules you find wines that are innovative and expressive.
Maremma’s Long History
There is an incredibly long and rich history in Maremma. It was the Etruscans that introduced viticulture to the region. Its name is derived from the Spanish word marismas or “marsh”. The area was formerly a marshland that was first drained by the Etruscans, then the Romans and recently in the 1930s by Mussolini. It is the traditional home of cattle herders and home to a breed of cattle known as Maremmana.
Maremma has undergone a transformation, it was primarily made of marsh and swamplands. It was not until the mid-20th century that the land was reclaimed and vineyards were developed. There is a newfound exuberance and energy in Maremma. It is a place of innovation and experimentation, making for a range of styles of wines.
The New Frontier of Tuscany – Maremma
Maremma is a young wine region, working to build the reputation it rightfully deserves. Considered the new frontier of Tuscany with more relaxed rules, you find wines that are avant-garde and expressive. This exciting region is attracting investments from new ambitious winemakers as well as many illustrious winemakers from other parts of the world. Investments here have been made by the Checchi family, Mazzei family, and Eric de Rothschild from Bordeaux to name just a few.
11 Top Wines To Discover Maremma
Discover Maremma with these 11 wines that are exceptional, edgy and expressive. These wines offer a unique sense of place, that has defining characteristics of Maremma.
Ansonica Biologico Maremma Toscana DOC 2019 – Alberto Motto
Ansonica is a unique variety for Maremma. This is an elegant full-bodied wine with great texture. It is fresh, fruity and elegant with a bit of salinity on the finish, reminiscent of the Mediterranean.
Maremma Toscana DOC Ciliegiolo 2019 – Sassotondo
Ciliegiolo is an obscure but charming grape variety. It is one of Tuscany’s oldest varieties. The wine has an intense and fruity nose with notes of plum, cherries and licorice. The palate is smooth and fresh with nice acidity. Notes of raspberries and lavender coat the palate. The wine has an elegant structure with nice length.
Prile Maremma Toscana DOC 2015 – Prelius
The Prile is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Merlot from the Volpaia’s Prelius Estate. An intense ruby red in the glass, the wine has notes of black cherry, blackberries and tobacco on the palate. There is nice fruit and spice to balance the firm tannins.
Terraria Maremma Toscana DOC Rosso 2013 – Villa Pinciana
Terraria is a full-bodied wine that is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. There are aromas of crushed stones and dark fruit. The palate follows with notes of black cherries, earthy undertones and sweet spice.
Alicante Maremma Toscana DOC 2016 – I Cavallini
The wine is vibrant in the glass with a purple hue. There are aromas of fruit, flowers and spice. The palate has a smooth long finish with a touch of minerality.
Sangiovese Maremma Toscana DOC 2017 – Cantina “I Vini Di Maremma”
This Sangiovese has notes of cherries, raspberries and smoky aromas. A concentrated palate with smooth tannins. Nice structure, texture and persistence.
Altizi Cabernet Franc Maremma Toscana DOC 2016 – Fattoria di Magliano
Inviting aromas of red fruit and spice on the nose. The wine is fresh, bright and aromatic with refined tannins. There is nice balance and length. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and beautiful notes of blueberries, currants, raspberries, strawberries and licorice.
Albarese Maremma Toscana DOC Ciliegiolo 2018 – Cantina “I Vini Di Maremma”
There is a vibrant red color in the glass. Aromas of spice and fruit with notes of raspberries, cinnamon and roses. Soft silky tannins are present with a bright palate.
Poggio Bestiale Maremmaa Toscana DOC Rosso 2015 – Fattoria di Magliano
Poggio Bestiale is a Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The wine is intense on the nose with notes of lavender, cherries and plum. The palate is persistent with a full body, mineral accents and velvety tannins.
Terra di Casteani Maremma Toscana DOC Rosso 2014 – Tenuta Casteani
Terra di Casteani is a Tuscan blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. Notes of plum, red fruit and spice on the nose. The wine is right on the palate with round smooth tannins. Expressive and complex with great acidity and balance make this a memorable wine.
Pause Merlot Maremma Toscana DOC 2016 – I Cavallini
This Merlot has spice and blueberry aromas. Fresh herbs, wet stone and red fruit coat the palate. The finish is long and persistent with fine tannins. The wine is round and elegant.