The Apuane hills lay in the province of Massa Carrara, in the most northerly part of Tuscany. Here the blinding white of the celebrated marble on the Apuane Alps morphs into the rich green of the vine-clad hills that begin just beneath the stone and steeply slope almost to the azure waters of the Ligurian Sea, creating a wondrous and complex pattern of constantly changing colors and shapes.
Upon these steep, terraced slopes the vine has always been cultivated, but with much hard labor and sacrifice. In fact, the narrow terraces and the steep slopes preclude the use of machines, and create a type of viticulture aptly called “heroic”. Cultivation of the grapevine in the Colline di Candia area is amply witnessed by the ancient vineyard terraces as well as by historical documents that testify to wine commerce already well established in 200 BC.
Documents and texts dating back to the late 19th century trace the emergence too of Vermentino, the area’s main grape variety. The Candia denomination, on the other hand, came into use only a century ago, in association with a small zone on the slopes of Monte Oliviero that had always been known as “Libero”. A further significant fact concerning Candia dei Colli Apuani is that among the ranks of those who cherished its wines was the poet Giovanni Pascoli, who taught in a local high school.
In the 1974 a group of producers launched the “Consorzio fra produttori del vino Candia dei Colli Apuani.” Their work prepared for the official recognition, on January 27, 1981, of the DOC Candia dei Colli Apuani. Only very recently, however, did the Consorzio transform itself into the Consorzio di Tutela, officially approved by the Ministry in February 2006.
The Candia zone covers some 800 hectares within the communes of Carrara, Massa and Montignoso; of these, some 300 hectares are under vine.
Yields: 90 quintals per hectare, with a yield in must not over 70%.
Vermentino Bianco 70%-80%; Albarola 10%-20%; Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia up to a maximum of 20% provided that Malvasia does not exceed 5%.
Types: Dry (as well as lightly effervescent), lightly sweet (as well as lightly bubbly) and Vin Santo.
Vermentino Nero (Also for the rosè) min. 85%, Barsaglina (o Massaretta) min. 85%, Maybe used in the production of wines with an indication of the grape, either alone or jointly, the grapes of red grape varieties suitable for cultivation in Tuscany in a maximum of 15%.
This Candia dei Colli Apuani wines are ideal with traditional local dishes, the dry style with specialties such as crostini with Lardo di Colonnata, the reds can be enjoyed along many local dishes like Boar, Rabbit, Wild Hare, Venison and many more.