There are various theories about the origin of the name of this classic Tuscan dessert wine. A version from Siena tells of a Franciscan friar who in 1348 cured plague victims with the wine normally used by the brothers to celebrate the mass; the conviction that this wine had miraculous properties spread, leading to the epithet santo (holy). Another is from Florence: when the Council of Florence was held in Florence in 1439, the Greek metropolitan Bessarion proclaimed upon drinking the vin pretto, as it had been called up to that point (and also after), “This is the wine of Xantos!”, possibly referring to a certain Greek Passito (pressed raisin wine) from Santorini. His fellow diners, who misheard ‘Xantos’ as ‘santos’ believed that he had discovered qualities in the wine worthy to be proclaimed “santo”. In any event, from that time on vin pretto became Vin Santo. A variant of the story says that he used the word Xanthos ( Greek meaning yellow) in speaking of the wine. This Vin Santo is produced the same traditional way it has been made in Tuscany for centuries.
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5620 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA - 415-386-9463
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