Think Tuscan. That’s what Neil and Maria Empson had in mind when they created Toscolo, their labor of love – born in 1988 – from a longtime passion for this extraordinary region. The name itself is a tribute to Tuscany: a Renaissance Italian word, it means “Tuscan boy.” The Empsons chose their friend and star enologist Franco Bernabei to style the wines with Neil himself. Nothing was left to chance to make the Empsons’ brand their ideal Tuscan creation. The making of the wines begins in the region’s finest vineyard locations and ends in their state-of- the-art facilities, also thanks to a great team. Soil and microclimates are intriguingly diverse – from compact, very fine-textured limestone at approx. 400-450 meters (1,310 to 1,480 feet) above sea level, to rocky, calcareous clay areas with similar altitudes; and even clayey/siliceous/ calcareous soil at 250-300 meters (820-984 feet) above sea level. Neil is thus able to handpick the best selections according to harvest conditions in the individual vineyards, maintaining consistent quality with each vintage. Attentive vineyard management, high density of vines per acre with correspondingly low crop yields, and traditional vinification methods with a well-integrated use of wood characterize this wine.
The result is a range combining fruit and finesse with that essential “bite” that makes these wines particularly food-friendly and versatile. In 2008, a touch of gold joined the brand’s original Chianti palette: a Vernaccia di San Gimignano, providing a Tuscan white par excellence, from one of Italy’s oldest white grapes (possibly going back to the third century B.C.), and Dolce Toscolo, a dessert wine featuring a lovely amber color and apricot nuances. The perfect way to end any meal.