The Vin Santo from Villa Stabbia.

Italy's "holy wine" Vin Santo, is one of the most ancient and typical products of Florentine and Tuscan oenology.

The grapes for this authentic Vin Santo from Villa Stabbia is based solely on trebbiano. It is made exactly as it has been done for centuries and is one of those rare gourmet products that small farms occasionally produce. The best white grapes are selected and placed on cane mats in a fresh room above the garage to partially dry for four months and are subsequently pressed and made into wine. The wine is stored in Oak barrels (caratelli) for 5 to 6 years.

The production on the farm is organic, and thus the grapes are organically grown and the Vin Santo is organically made - however the production is way to small to have it certified organic.

The resulting wine has an alcohol content usually around 17 degrees and an intense amber colour. The typical odour of the "Vin Santo" comes from the strongly raisined grapes: spices in general, dry fruits, particularly figs and apricots. The taste is harmonic with a good balance between alcohol, sugar residues and acidity. 

Please contact us if you would like to buy the Vin Santo from Villa Stabbia.

This wine is made the traditional way by drying grapes either by hanging them up or by laying them on cane mats in an airy room. After 3 or 4 months the semidried grapes are full of concentrated sugars and flavours. They're pressed and then fermented in small oak or chestnut barrels (called caratelli), which contain a small amount of madre-thick wine left from the prior year.

The wine is kept in these barrels for 2 to 3 - sometimes as long as 6-years, stored away in the attic. The barrels, which are not completely full, are exposed to varying temperatures-hot in the summer, cool in the winter. This oxidation treatment is part of the aging process and produces wine with a characteristic nutty-caramel flavour, a deep golden colour, and an alcohol content that ranges from 14 to 17 percent.

Most Vin Santo is sweet and served as dessert wine, although some versions are dry and better suited for an aperitif. The grapes used to make Vin Santo vary. In Tuscany, for example, the grapes are primarily trebbiano, malvasia, and canaiolo.

Various theories exist regarding the origins of its name. The strangest one, halfway between fact and fiction, tells how in the year 1349, on the occasion of the Ecumenical Council that was held in Florence, this wine was offered to the prelates who arrived from all over the Christian world. The Greek Patriarch Bessarione, noting a similarity with the wines of his own country exclaimed: "This is wine from Xantos". However, the others members present not understanding the geographical reference, thought that Bessarione had discovered that the Tuscan "Vin Pretto" (pure wine, as it was called to start with) was so good as to be defined as "Santo" (holy).

Another theory, though less picturesque, links the name to the fact that this wine was used regularly during mass.

In any case, in Tuscan tradition Vin Santo represents hospitality, being the drink that is always on hand to be offered to guests, both in the homes of peasants and nobles.

Vin Santo is generally used as a dessert wine its vivid honey and brown sugar aromas turn to nut and caramel in the mouth. It becomes a perfect digestive, accompanied by the famous "cantuccini" biscotti (almond biscuits) - cookies to-dip-in-the-wine.

Please contact us if you would like to buy the Vin Santo from Villa Stabbia.