Chianti (red wine)
“Chianti” wine must exclusively be produced in the geographic area between Florence and Siena, as prescribed by the Disciplinary Code that states the DOCG certification (Controlled and warranted use of name), which is authorized since 1984 (while since 1967 the previous DOC certification was active). Some other nearby territory of production are in the areas: Arezzo province to the east, Pisa and Pistoia provinces to the west, Prato province to the north.
Traditionally Chianti is a red wine, made by fermentation mostly of Sangiovese grapes (minimum 70% ), and other grapes suitable to be grown on Tuscan soil, like the Canaiolo grape. The white grapes of Trebbiano and Malvasia can also be used singularly or combined until a maximum quantity of 10%. Some other international grapes are also allowed to be mixed in the Chianti, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
In the vinification, it is admitted the enological practice of the “governo all’uso Toscano” (Tuscan-style grape re-fermentation).
There is a maximal quantity of grapes’ harvest prescribed for each hectare of land where Chianti wine is produced, and a minimum global alcoholic volume of 11,5%
“Chianti Classico” (“Gallo Nero”)
The “Chianti Classico” (classical Chianti) or “Gallo Nero” (black rooster) is among the most precious and appreciated Italian red wines in the world. Since 1996 the specification of “Chianti Classico” is recognized, and it is endowed of an autonomous disciplinary regulation for the production. Among the specific production rules, there is the higher density of grape production per hectare, a lower quantity of grape per hectare, minimal vine age of 4 years, a higher alcoholic volume, and a longer ageing time: minimum 10 months in total in the tub and bottle refining.
On the total of year 2004 Chianti wine production, it was measured that Chianti Classico amounted to approx. 22% of the total. The production of Chianti wine with label Chianti Classico is made in an internal area of the Chianti which contains the ancient Chianti province , i.e. the actual territories of Radda, Gaiole and Castellina in Chianti administrations.
For its taste of great character and for its strong structure, it is particularly good to accompany servings of red meat like the Florentine steak and wild preys.
Lastly, there is a legend, with historical grounds related to the geographical areas on the reason why the Chianti Classico wine is actually also known as Chianti Gallo Nero: click here to discover it…
Chianti “Colli Senesi”
A label of less quality if compared to that of Chianti Classico, the Chianti “Colli Senesi” (trans. Hills of Siena) is produced in a subarea of the Chianti located interly in the province of Siena. Such area also hosts some other very important brands of controlled and warranted origin (DOCG) among which the most notables are Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Vernaccia from San Gimignano.
With respect to the other Chianti wines, the “Colli Senesi” has a more fruity smell, and it is easier to drink, even for those not accustomed to drink wine. It can be coupled to many different typical dishes of the Tuscan tradition, even those not much elaborated or with a short cooking time, and it has to be consumed until it is “young” (it is not to be aged), to savor its freshness and well marked perfume. The necessary minimal age of the vineyard is 4 years and the minimum alcohol volume is 11,5 %.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano (White wine)
The native Vineyard of white grapes par excellence, Vernaccia di San Gimignano was the first wine to obtain DOC certification, to which the prestigious DOCG followed in 1993.
Produced, fermented, aged and bottled only on the San Gimignano territory, this white wine is now known all over the world tank to the hard work of promotion, development and valorization made by the Consortium during these years, and now it counts 177 members, among small and big winemakers.
Composed by a minimum of 85% of Vernaccia di San Gimignano and by a maximum of 15% of other white grapes varieties not-aromatic, with a minimum alcohol content of 11,5%, this wine has a delicate and fruity smell and a dry and savory taste. It is perfect with every fish meal but also with white meats.
The “Riserva” is a selection of the best grapes and to obtain this label, wine needs ageing in steel vats or wood for at least eleven months since January 1st on next year after the harvest, followed by minimum three months in bottle, and it should have alcohol content by 12,5%.