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Italian wine and grape guide : Chianti

Chianti

Chianti is possibly the most known Italian wine, in Italy and abroad.

Chianti is a red wine produced in Tuscany, that was granted the DOCG wine, currently produced in almost the whole region under 8 sub appellations, Chianti Classico, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Colli Senesi, Montalbano, Rùfina and Montespertoli. However, consumers are little aware of the 8 appellations and Chianti is either Chianti Classico or Chianti, and amongst consumers Chianti Classico enjoys a better reputation mainly because of the poor quality chianti that has flooded the market in the eighties.

Chianti according to its “disclipinare”, government wine making guidelines, must be made with at least 80% of Sangiovese grapes and the remaining 20% from a list that includes several local grapes, red and whites, with each wine maker choosing accordingly to its vineyards and grape production, with many nowadays opting for 100% sangiovese Chianti.

The Chianti Classico, made from grapes grown in the “classico” area, considered the most vocated growing area between the city of Florence and Siena, is also known as Gallo Nero because of the black rooster seal on the neck of the bottle, which indicates that the producer is a member of the Chianti Classico Consortium. The main difference between the two “disciplinari” is that the Chianti Classico only allows the use of red grape in the remaining 20%.

The Chianti wine is also produced as Chianti Riserva, with the wine requiring at least 2 years of aging instead of months and Chianti Superiore. The Chianti Superiore can be produced in all DOCG areas except the Chianti Classico appellation.

Lastly, from 2014, a new Chianti appellation has been created, the Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione, produced only in the “classico” area, with even stricter requirements than the Riserva, starting with at least 30 months of aging in an attempt to boost the public perception of Chianti and move the Chianti Classico away from the bad reputation the whole Chianti category currently has.

Wine makers making the wine