A lot of persons has asked me lately about the difference between the Tuscan Vin Santo and the Vin Santo of the Greece and if the two wines are related.
In fact, our good friend Jeremy Parzen has written about this question on his blog Do Bianchi. See his most recent post on the origins of the names of the two wines at this link: http://dobianchi.com/2010/10/06/the-earliest-mention-of-vin-santo-in-print-maffei-verona-1732/
As Dr. Jeremy observes, the proper name of the Tuscan Vin Santo is "Vin Santo" and the proper name of the Greek wine is the "Vinsanto" written all attached. If no one is sure where the name of the Vin Santo Toscano comes from, Jeremy has shown that the name of the wine of the Greece is derived from the fact that the Greek wine is made on the island of Santorini where it came to be called the Vinsanto for the abbreviation of Santorini, which is an Italian toponym for the island.
Both wines are "vini passiti" or "dried grape wines" but there are major differences between the two wines.
The grape for Greek Vinsanto is dried outside in the open air. The grape for the Vin Santo Toscano is dried indoors in the Vinsantaio special attic for the making of this unique wine.
It does not take as long to dry the grape for the Greek Vinsanto. It takes months to dry the grapes for the Vin Santo Toscano.
But there is also the more important difference regarding the wines. The grape for the Vinsanto of the Greece is dried and then made into the wine with one fermentation.
The grape for the Vin Santo Toscano is dried for a long time and then it is made into the wine. But then it is placed to age in the vinsantaio where the cold weather will stop the fermentation. Then the fermentation will begin again in the spring with the arrival of the warmer temperatures. This process will continue until the wine stabilizes itself.
Vin Santo is a very special and unique wine for the "Toscani", "the Tuscan peoples" and even though some people like to have the wine with the famous "cantucci" of our land, we think better to have the Vin Santo Toscano when it has aged with cheeses and Tuscan honey.