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Chianti Classico


See Chianti Classico producers

Chianti Classico is a leading Tuscan DOCG zone which covers approximately 7,000ha between Florence and Siena. Its vineyards stretch into the Apennine foothills at between 150m and 500m altitude and encompass two distinct terroirs and styles. The sandy alluvial soils of the lower sites yield fuller, meatier wines while the limestone and galestro rocks of the higher vineyards deliver finer, more ethereal examples.

The origins of Chianti date back to the Middle Ages although Chianti Classico was really born in 1716 when Grand Duke Cosimo III of Tuscany classified the zone, identifying the villages of Radda, Greve, Panzano, Gaiole and Castellina as the leading sites.  These same villages still represent the nucleus of the Chianti Classico DOCG today. The regulations have been revised, however, to insist that the wine is made from a minimum 80% Sangioveseand a maximum 20% Canaiolo and ‘ameliorative’ grapes (like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon)from the 2006 vintage no white grapes are allowed.

Chianti Classico cannot be released until 1st October in the year following the harvest, while Chianti Classico Riserva must undergo 24 months of ageing before release, including at least 3 months in bottle. At the region’s top addresses, French barriques are gradually being adopted in the place of the traditional, larger Slavonian ‘botte’.

Recommended Producers:
Gagliole, Monte Bernardi, Tenuta Fontodi