Chianti is an Italian region with beautiful landscapes that is now popular for its world-class wines. This sunny and romantic region is located in Tuscany, in the central part of Italy. Chianti wines are well known around the world. The history of the area begins in the thirteenth century, when it was known for its white wines. In the middle Ages, Chianti gained more recognition because it was geographically demarcated by Cosimo Medici III. Today, the wine made in Tuscany is one of the best in the world.
The tradition of wine making in the region of Chianti comes from the Etruscans who lived here before the establishment of the Roman Empire. The weather and the soil in the area are perfect for the cultivation of vines. Chianti extends to the city provinces of Florence and Siena, but also to Prato, Arezzo, Pistoia and Pisa. In 1967, the DOC title was given to the wines in the area and the DOCG title followed in 1984. This final title is the highest level of Italian wine and has the highest protection.
Chianti Wine Classification
According to the sub region in which the wine is made, Chianti wines can be classified as: Classico (between Florence and Siena, this is the most popular of all), Colli Aretini (Arezzo), Colli Fiorentini (Florence hills), Colli Senesi (Siena hills), Colline Pisane (Pisa hills), Montalbano (Montalbano area, Pistona hills), Montespertoli (Monterspertoli hills) and Rufina (Rufina hills, east of Florence). These are the eight districts of the region that give the name for each type of wine produced in the area. For wines that are a blend of two districts, the name used is Chianti.Chianti wines are also classified according to aging and grape blend.
Chianti: May not be released until March 1 of the year following the harvest
Chianti Superiore: May not be released until September 1 of the year following the harvest
Chianti Riserva: Minimum 2 years aging from January 1 of the year following harvest and some of these wines are kept in French oak.
|Chianti Classico||Chianti Classico Riserva||Chianti Classico Gran Selezione|
|Varieties||80-100% Sangiovese||80-100% Sangiovese||80-100% Sangiovese (all estate grown)|
|Aging Requirements||About a year (until October)||Min 24 months - including 3 months in the bottle||Min 30 months - including 3 months in the bottle|
The majority of wines produced in Chianti are almost completely made of Sangiovese grapes. The rest of them have a quarter of the quantity produced from other grape varieties. This twenty five percent can also be made from international varieties: Merlot, Cabernet, or Syrah. Just like the majority of Italian wines, Chianti goes well with food, because it is the dry red type.
Depending on the sub region, aging, producer and other factors, the wine can be light-bodied or full-bodied. One of the characteristics of Chianti is the cherry or violet aroma, with a reminiscent flavour of tart cherry. This fruit aroma and the taste of the wine are best experienced if the drink is more than eight years old. Classico and other varieties are now more concentrated than ever, with higher levels of alcohol and better texture.
Wine enthusiasts who want to taste two amazing vintage Chianti wines could try varieties from 1999 and 2001. The price of a bottle can start from ten dollars and can go up to fifty dollars. Chianti is known for its classic bottle in a basket called fiasco. But, this is the old school version of the red wine. At a restaurant, people will find these two popular versions: Chianti and Chianti Classico. The elevated levels of tannins can dry the mouth of the taster and the acidity makes Chianti Wines great to taste with food.