Picture a scene in which a couple are gazing into one another’s eyes while sipping wine at a restaurant or outside some remote bar in the heart of Chianti. Does it really happen anywhere other than in a movie? In real life, one of the two—or probably both of them—will have whipped out their cell phone to capture the scene of the glass with a view in the background or of the bottle emblazoned with a nice Tuscan label. If there’s reception, he, she or they add a quirky comment, the location, a few mentions and a peppering of hashtags. This testifies to all the wine time that continues to generate a never-ending buzz on social media.

During the Tuscan Wine Previews Week 2019, Fondazione Sistema Toscana presented an interesting study produced by Travel Appeal, whose focus was brand-new compared to the usual wine reports. The perception of Tuscan wines was the cornerstone of the research, based on 41,000-plus posts online in 2018 observed in Tuscany. The outcome proved deeply satisfying with Tuscany enjoying an outstanding online reputation, Chianti DOCG, Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri DOC in particular.

From the mapping of content published online by users in Tuscany, it emerged that the general satisfaction—or sentiment, in technical jargon—was sky high at 95.5 percent. This figure was calculated according to digital content produced by more than 65,000 unique users, 46 percent of whom shared content in English.

Rosso di Montalcino came top in terms of wine sentiment at 97.1 percent, while Chianti DOCG placed the highest among the 10 denominations most mentioned online (27 percent of mentions), followed by Brunello di Montalcino DOCG (13%) and Bolgheri Doc (9%).

Generally speaking, digital content that talks about and reviews Tuscan wine grew at a steady rate: +57 percent in the last year. Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG (+1200%), Chianti Classico DOCG (+471%), IGT Toscano (+275%) and Orcia DOC (+241%) are experiencing high growth rates in terms of mentions, hence spreading awareness about the appellations.

Storytelling about Tuscan wine develops through the sharing of photos: 78 percent of posts shared on social media feature photos accompanied by text. In this respect, Instagram obviously articulates a large wedge of social content and conversations about Tuscan wine: 857,277 total interactions with posts through likes, shares and comments. The post that obtained the most interactions in 2018, on December 31, with 6,451 likes and 33 comments, was a photo on Instagram immortalizing a Bolgheri Superiore Guado al Tasso 1999.

This frenetic visual storytelling intensifies from August to October due to the peak in tourist numbers in Tuscany. The most posts and reviews about Tuscan wine appear between the end of the summer and the beginning of the autumn, culminating with the grape harvest.

#Firenze, #Montepulciano and #SanGimignano are the destinations name-dropped the most. The denominations most closely linked to the local area emerge in each of the Tuscan towns.

Lastly, a few tips for your wine posts. #Winelover and its group version  #Winelovers feature in the top five most frequently used hashtags. Then comes these people’s favourite pastime #winetasting and #redwine is their preferred tipple, made of course in #italy.

Now it’s up to you to enjoy Tuscan wine and to take part in growing its reputation with a well-published post!

The Fondazione Sistema Toscana, which manages digital communications for the Tuscany Region (www.visittuscany.com), commissioned the research conducted by Travel Appeal, a B2B startup specialized in data science and artificial intelligence for the travel industry.