The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy (Paperback)

A Regional and Village Guide to the Best Wines and Their Producers (The World's Finest Wines)

By Nicholas Belfrage, Hugh Johnson (Foreword by)

University of California Press, 9780520259423, 320pp.

Publication Date: October 14, 2009

List Price: 39.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The wines of Tuscany were famous long before Leonardo da Vinci described them as “bottled sunshine,” and they are at the forefront of the remarkable renaissance of Italian wine over the past 30 years. In this groundbreaking new book, Nicolas Belfrage shares his insider’s knowledge acquired as a specialist wine trader and writer. Mindful of the region’s fascinating past, Belfrage brings its story up to date, discussing such subjects as geology and geography, grape varieties, and the latest research into Sangiovese, the variety used in the top wines of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. He also clarifies the regulatory framework and follows the recent controversial developments in viticulture and winemaking, including the rise of the Super-Tuscans and the ongoing “Brunellogate” scandal that broke in 2008. At the heart of the book are in-depth, illustrated profiles of more than 90 of the most interesting producers, large and small, with insightful notes on the essential character of their finest wines. The author also offers a comprehensive review of vintages and selects his top 100 wines in ten different categories, while wines of special quality or value are indicated throughout.

About the Author

Nicolas Belfrage MW has worked with Italian wine, either in the trade or as a writer, since the early 1970s and qualified as a Master of Wine in 1980, the first American to achieve this honor. He is the author of Barolo to Valpollicella: The Wines of Northern Italy and Brunello to Zibibbo: Tuscany, Central and Southern Italy.

Praise For The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy: A Regional and Village Guide to the Best Wines and Their Producers (The World's Finest Wines)

“Straightforward yet refreshingly opinionated.”

— New York Times

“Any serious Italophile needs this book.” A Best Book of 2009

— Wine & Spirits Magazine

“An excellent introduction to Tuscany’s viticultural renaissance. “

— Pittsburgh Tribune Review