BIANCO DI PITIGLIANO DOC, still or sparkling dry white wine from the hilly, coastal Maremma area, where southern Tuscany meets the Lazio (‘Latium’) region. The DOC was created in 1966 (on the same day as that for Brunello di Montalcino DOCG). The Pitigliano zone centres on the townships of Sorano, Manciano, Scansano and the Etruscan town of Pitigliano. The latter sits on a ridge or spur of hard, volcanic tuff (compressed sandstone) into which have been carved a deep network of cellars (John Szabo, p197). The houses are the colour of the rock. In Pitigliano’s main square there is a palace built by the Orsini. In addition, one local feature worth noting is the so called ‘Vie Cave’, a ground level, trench-like road system excavated through the tuff and connecting Pitigliano with the nearby townships of Sorano and Sovana. See terroir, below.

THE WINE | Bianco di Pitigliano is made from 50-80% Trebbiano Toscano (Procanico) plus Greco, Malvasia Bianca Toscana or Verdello (for body), Grechetto (aromatic), Ansonica, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc (30% max), Viognier, Pinot Bianco and Riesling Italico (Welschriesling). There is also a Superiore version. Vin Santo can also be produced. Red wines are labelled under the Sovana DOC denomination. With 12% alcohol content, the wine may be called Superiore.

PRODUCTION ZONE | The townships of Manciano, Pitigliano, Sorano, and Scansano. Pitigliano’s less volcanic north-western sector overlaps the Morellino di Scansano DOCG (John Szabo, 2016, p198). The town of Pitigliano lies at around 300 metres and is bordered by the Lente and Meleta rivers.

TERROIR | The area is a volcanic (tufaceous) strip on the edge of and originating from the Bolsena volcanic basin. Although considered hilly by altitude, the Pitigliano area is in fact better described as a series of “highlands,” divided by deep creeks carved into the “tufo” stone by semi-permanent watercourses.

VOLCANIC SOILS | These derive from the Plinian eruption of Monti Volsini 300,000 years ago. The caldera which formed, now filled with water, is Lake Bolsena (John Szabo, p197). 

SOILS & WINE EXPRESSION | The soils are derived from volcanic tuff, are acidic and high in potassium, magnesium and and sodium which may account for the saline character often attributed by some to the wines (John Szabo, p197). 

WINERIES

CERTIFIED ORGANIC | Sassotondo.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

See John Szabo, MS, Volcanic Wines, (Jacqui Small, 2016), p197.