Don Tarcisio – Vin Santo del Chianti Classico
Denomination: Vin Santo del Chianti Classico
Grapes: Trebbiano and white Malvasia
Production area: Chianti Classico
Harvest: By hand with selected grape bunches
Grape drying: Natural drying of bunches
Maturation and ageing: 36 months in small oak barrels
Serving temperature : 8°- 12° C
Origin of the name
“Vin Santo”, wine for the Holy Mass. This is what the label on the bottle said when I was a child. At the time I attended the Salesian Oratory in my village, and on Sundays I took turns being an altar boy with my friends, and one of the tasks I was given was the handling of the ampoules for the rite of the Eucharist with Holy Wine and water.
Our “dear priest friend”, Don Tarcisio, a Salesian of Tuscan peasant origin, greatly appreciated wine and in particular Vin Santo, so much so as to arouse in us youngsters that curiosity to taste this untouchable sacred wine “a little too often”, straight from the ampoules that Don Tarcisio personally prepared before the start of Holy Mass.
There was yelling and a few good-natured kicks in the backside for those who were caught, so to avoid being noticed we would dilute the portion of Vin Santo drunk with water.
Don Tarcisio, as a good drinker and a true Tuscan, always noticed this, but during the celebration of Holy Mass he could not help but cast a few menacing glances, a sign for us to avoid walking through the sacristy at the end of mass.
Here I discovered and drank this great dessert wine, which is traditionally served with Cantucci di Prato at the end of a Sunday meal, for the first time. Every time I taste it, and not only on Sundays, my thoughts take me back to the times I spent with Don Tarcisio, to family lunches, to festivals, to the constant memory of those flavours and moments that are still fresh in my mind.