We have exciting news at Viticcio Winery: we’ve just released a brand-new label and wine, Morellino di Scansano.

About Morellino di Scansano

The Morellino di Scansano is our second wine from the lands of Maremma, and our first red wine from this wine zone. We make it from selected Sangiovese grapes with a small addition of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. As we noted in our post about this wine region, The Wild Beauty of Maremma and its Wines, the sunny climate, refreshing sea breeze from the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west, and soil (clay, sand, limestone, and sandstone) make it the ideal terroir for cultivating these varieties.

Morellino di Scansano is not nearly as famous as some of its Tuscan cousins, like Chianti Classico or even Brunello di Montalcino. But those who are lucky enough to know this wine love it for its fruit-forward character, its aromas of sweet red cherry, and its lovely softness, noble tannins, and refined, balanced acidity. It also has nuances of blackberry and forest undergrowth.

Viticcio harvest

In general, Morellino di Scansano lends itself well to being drunk young. It is released earlier than its afore-mentioned Sangiovese-based cousins, as early as March after harvest. It can, however, be aged for up to five years depending on the vintage, with excellent results, becoming more elegant and refined with the passing of time, its intense red color taking on garnet hues.

The name “Morellino” is the local word for “Sangiovese.” The deep-hued purple grapes, a clone of the Sangiovese grape used in other parts of Tuscany, were possibly named after the dark-haired Morelli bay horse that once roamed these lands. At least 85% of the wine must be Sangiovese, and the remaining grapes used must be black-berried varieties.

Wine and food

What pairs best with Morellino di Scansano? As the saying goes, “What grows together, goes together.” Certainly, classic Tuscan dishes will pair well; but if you really want to conjure up a menu that your dinner guests won’t forget anytime soon, try pairing Morellino di Scasano with local Maremman cuisine.

When drunk young, first courses pair best with this wine, such as the delightfully improvised dish called “cooked water,” or acquacotta. A type of stew made from local, seasonal ingredients on hand, acquacotta is especially perfect in the spring and early summer. It is often a mix of the curly fronds of foraged field greens, with stale bread or potatoes tossed in (whatever is available!). The Maremman butteri, or cowboys, made this satisfying dish over a cookpot outdoors during their sheepherding duties. Today, a grating of pecorino choose or a poached or fried egg will finish it off beautifully.

If you open a bottle of aged Morellino di Scansano, on the other hand, you’ll want to pair it with a meat dish. Cinghiale, or wild boar, is a classic Maremman meat and pairs well in many preparations, from ragù to porchetta, stews to roasts.

A festival all to itself

Finally, if you visit Tuscany during harvest time—a bountiful, almost magical time of the year in wine country—be sure you stop by the town the wine is named after: Scansano. Near the middle to end of September, the Festa del’Uva is held. This festival is dedicated to the wine and its grapes, and is the culmination of an entire month full of wine-related festivities and events in the town and surrounding villages. You’ll be sure to enjoy plenty of wine tastings, and you’ll taste first-hand just how perfectly the local cuisine pairs with Morellino di Scansano, as abundant Maremman food is dished out left and right.

Scansano in Tuscany - by Tiziano Sartori, CC

Scansano in Tuscany – by Tiziano Sartori, CC