What comes up to your mind when someone says rolling hills, olive trees, vineyards and Gallo Nero (black rooster)? We're talking about the Chianti region, of course, one of the world's best wine destinations.
Chianti Classico wine is made in the area between Firenze and Siena (known as Chianti area), specifically in the countryside of Barberino Val d’Elsa, Castellina in Chianti, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Poggibonsi, Radda in Chianti, San Casciano Val di Pesa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa.
Take the road
The Chianti Classico Road covers the area that roughly starts off in Florence and ends in Siena. This map will guide you along the wine road and to suggested tasting spots ! (Don't Drink and Drive!)
- Chianti Classico DOCG red wine: made from 80% Sangiovese red grapes and other local red grapes: Canaiolo, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Minimum required maturation for the Riserva (the top version) is 24 months, including three months of bottle refining. Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is made exclusively from a winery’s own grapes grown in its finest vineyards according to strict regulations that make it a truly premium wine.
- Chianti Classico DOP Olive Oil: characterized by a good fruity flavour, with notes of raw artichoke, freshly cut grass and a delectably spicy aftertaste.
- Cold cuts: Tuscan ham, soprassata, buristo (sweet blood pudding) and finocchiona (salami seasoned with fennel seeds). The native pig breed, Cinta Senese, is highly prized, the only one to survive extinction and now regarded as one of the finest species.
- Vinsanto del Chianti Classico DOC: is produced with white Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes that have been partially dried before pressing. The Chianti Classico district is a zone of strong culinary traditions that have incorporated the culture of farmhouse cooking, the nobility of Chianina beef and the great variety of deli meats made from pork, Cinta Senese pigs and boar.
Chianti and Chianti Classico, two different wines
(source: Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico)
Chianti and Chianti Classico are two different and separate DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) wines, with two different areas of production and characteristics. In 1716, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III, defined the boundaries of the production area of Chianti, an area stretched between the cities of Florence and Siena. The "Chianti" area was therefore the one in which the "Chianti" wine was produced. The Gallo Nero (black rooster) symbol was chosen immediately, a historical symbol used by the Military League of Chianti.
In the same period, for commercial reasons, the wine began to be produced outside the Chianti region, delimited in 1716, and this wine was also called Chianti. In 1932, the Italian government instituted a ministerial decree, differentiating the product in the Chianti area of origin by adding the suffix "Classic". Since then, the Chianti wine produced outside the geographical boundaries is called "Chianti", while "Chianti Classico" is produced within the area of origin.