Orcia Rosso
The Val d'Orcia is one of the most photographed areas of classic Tuscan countryside. It spans some 30 miles south from Siena to the flanks of Montalcino and Montepulciano. The region was awarded a broad DOC status in 2000 and it is the largest DOC appellation in Tuscany. The area is still devoted to classic mixed agriculture and vineyards are often widely spaced.

Red wines are based on Sangiovese and it must comprise at least 60% of red blends with the other Tuscan reds making up the balance. Varietally labeled Sangiovese must be 90%. Whites are similarly made from a range of the classic Tuscan grapes with Trebbiano making up at least 50% of a blend. No international varietals are permitted.

With such a wide range of micro-climates and producers, styles vary widely from cheap and cheerful to serious estate wines. Podere Forte and Val d'Orcia are leading producers of the latter. Finally, Vin Santo is a bit of a specialty in the region, and a number of producers bottle a version, which requires the blend to be a minimum of 50% Malvasia Bianca. (Wine/Appellations)