3 Italian Wine Legends
Italian wine can seem pretty complex - so many wine regions and even more grapes - but in the midst of this Italian chaos there are some fun facts that will make you thirsty for more knowledge (& wine)
Name of wine and translates from Latin to “tears of Christ”. According to legend Lucifer took a piece of Heaven (Naples bay area around Mount Vesuvius) with him when he left. Christ then sees the place and is moved by its beauty. His tears fall to the ground and where they hit grapes miraculously start growing. Today Vesuvio Lacryma Christi DOC is either a fresh red made from Piedirosso grapes or a white made primarily from Coda di Volpe Bianca grapes grown in volcanic soil (in the region of Campania).
Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone
Legend has it that in the year 1111 bishop Defuk (seriously his name) is following king Henry V of Germany to conquer Rome, and being a serious wine snob of the time, he sends a servant ahead of him to find the best wines so he wouldn't waste his own time once he got there. He tells the servant to write “est!” on the cellar doors with the best wines (Latin meaning “it's here”). When the servant gets to a village just north of Rome called Montefiascone he writes Est! Est!! Est!!! as the wine is extraordinary. Defuk subsequently arrives to indulge and he drinks so much of it that he immediately dies of drunkenness. Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone is, therefore, the name of the DOC wine produced primarily from Trebbiano Toscano grapes grown in the area around lake Bolsena just North of Rome (the region of Lazio).
The Black Rooster symbol found on any bottle of Chianti Classico refers to yet another legend of the middle ages when a horse race took place between two archenemy cities. Florence and Siena were to settle where the border between the two cities should be drawn. In order to synchronize times in two separate cities, they would each rely on a rooster’s crow which would signal departure time. The horsemen riders would at this time ride in the direction of the other aiming to meet midway proclaiming a fair borderline. To make a long story short, the Florentines trick their (black) rooster to wake up early and gain more land. Chianti Classico falls under Florentine domain and is since referred to as the Black Rooster region. Hear this story and learn much more on a Tuscan Wine Tour with Grape Tours!