Bolgheri is located in the comune of Castagneto Carducci, a few kilometers north-west of the capital and lies in the Province of Livorno, on the foothills of the Colline Metallifere, south of Montescudaio.
Bolgheri became an internationally known region following an event in 1974 arranged by Decanter where a 6 year old Sassicaia won over an assortment of Bordeaux wines. Prior to this, Bolgheri had been relatively anonymous producers of ordinary white wines and rosés.
Due to the particular characteristics of the soil and micro climate sunny, dry and moderately windy, the grape varieties of Bordeaux origin tend to thrive, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The current set of DOC regulations for Bolgheri red wines became approved in 1994. Before the creation of this DOC, the "Super Tuscans" from the area were typically sold under the simpler designations Vino da tavola or IGT Toscana.
The appellation rules determine that in Bolgheri Rosso and Bolgheri Rosé, Sangiovese may be utilised only to a degree of 70%, and in excess of this a wine must be classified IGT. Cabernet Sauvignon from 10 to 80%, Merlot, up to 80% and other local red varieties, up to 30%. Rosso must be aged for 24 months.
Two varietal wines are permitted, Sauvignon blanc and Vermentino, of which there must be at least an 85% of either grape variety.
For the appellation's pink Vin Santo, Occhio di Pernice, Sangiovese may be used from 50 to 70%, Malvasia near from 50 to 70% and other local red varieties, up to 30%. It must be aged for 36 months.
The sub-zone Sassicaia has its own appellation declaration, with up to 85% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. Bolgheri Sassicaia must be aged for 26 months. It is expected to be upgraded to DOCG status.
- Consorzio Bolgheri Bolgheri DOC regulations
- Clarke, Oz (2002). Oz Clarke's Wine Atlas (2nd ed.). London: Websters International Publishers. pp. 178–179. ISBN 0-316-86064-6.
- Robinson, Jancis, ed. (1999). "Bolgheri". The Oxford Companion to Wine (2nd ed.). winepros.com.au.
- Stevenson, Tom (2005). The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia (4th ed.). London: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 284–285. ISBN 0-7566-1324-8.
- Belfrage, Nicolas (2001). Brunello to Zibibbo: The Wines of Tuscany, Central and Southern Italy. London: Mitchell Beazley. pp. 154–155. ISBN 1-84000-790-7.
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- Bolgheri DOC Consortium official site
- Bolgheri and Bolgheri Sassicaia (DOC) The Italian Trade Commission