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Region: Tuscany

Valdichiana DOC

The Val di Chiana valley (or Valdichiana) is in the Arezzo province, slightly southeast of Montepulciano, and was originally occupied by Etruscans and later Romans. Because of the valley's riverbed, the area was plagued by humidity and the residents undertook an intensive deforestation, where the Chiana River unfortunately was changed to a swamp area, that slowly became a marsh.

These dramatic changes resulted in a widespread malaria epidemic amongst the Etruscans, and was still a problem all the way up into the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, where the swamps covered up to 86 miles.

A final draining of the area was first done in the 14th and 15th centuries, where they also released important field and cultivation areas. To turn the tide in the Chiana River and send it from the south towards the Tiber and towards the north out to the Arno River, they dug another large channel, Canale Maestro.

This rather large work was completed in 1840, where also tributaries were corrected, and the result has been a very fertile valley. The current appearance of Valdichiana is the result of work that began in ancient Rome and continued all the way to the 20th century.

Leonardo da Vinci actually drew a map of the area at the beginning of the 16th century, which shows a large lake in the valley. You can only see a little bit of it today in the form of a little ford at Valiano, a small village that still exists and where they grow grapes for the red wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulcuiano . Only Lago di Chiusi and the very small lake at Montepulciano remain of the original great lake.

Valdichiana's vineyards include the Arezzo, Castiglion Fiorentino, Cortona, Foiano, Lucignano, Marciano, Monte San Savino and Civitella in Val di Chiana comuni in the Arezzo province, along with Sinalunga, Torrita di Siena, Chiusi and Montepulciano in the Sien province.

On the grape side, it's mostly about Sangiovese for red wines and Chardonnay and Grechetto for white wines.

Valdichiana DOC is a zone with great potential.

Read more about the wines from Valdichiana DOC by clicking i the top menu in the right side.