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Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico is one of the most famous enological symbols of Tuscany, a red wine born in the ancient territory where historically the best wines of the region were produced. This area is identified with the provinces of Florence and Siena and includes 9 municipalities with unique characteristics. Obtained mainly from Sangiovese grapes, it is versatile and generous, equipped with complexity and depth, with spicy tones and a pleasant persistence. The distinctive symbol that has always identified the bottles of this type is the mark of the Gallo Nero, symbol of the ancient Military League of the area, reproduced by the painter Giorgio Vasari on the ceiling of the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. In this case, it is evident how art, culture and tradition combine to give life to important and high quality wine expressions, fascinating and rich in history.

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Chianti Classico is one of the most famous enological symbols of Tuscany, a red wine born in the ancient territory where historically the best wines of the region were produced. This area is identified with the provinces of Florence and Siena and includes 9 municipalities with unique characteristics. Obtained mainly from Sangiovese grapes, it is versatile and generous, equipped with complexity and depth, with spicy tones and a pleasant persistence. The distinctive symbol that has always identified the bottles of this type is the mark of the Gallo Nero, symbol of the ancient Military League of the area, reproduced by the painter Giorgio Vasari on the ceiling of the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. In this case, it is evident how art, culture and tradition combine to give life to important and high quality wine expressions, fascinating and rich in history.

The History of Chianti Classico DOCG

The history of Chianti Classico is ancient and intimately linked to a historic production area. It is enough to think that as early as 1716 the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de' Medici issued a proclamation to define the most suitable wine-growing area for its production. This official act testifies to the fact that the area was the first wine-growing area in the world to be defined by law. This proclamation, entitled Sopra la Dichiarazione de' Confini delle quattro regioni Chianti, Pomino, Carmignano e Valdarno di Sopra, identified a production area worthy of protection and established a supervisory body to oversee production, shipping and control against fraud.

The great success of Tuscan wine production led to the need to protect and enhance the best expressions. For this reason, a "Consortium" was founded on the 14th of May 1924 to defend this magnificent product of the Tuscan lands. Its identifying mark was immediately the Gallo Nero, or black rooster, the historical symbol of the Military League, born from a local myth. The legend tells of how Florence and Siena, in order to put an end to their rivalry, wanted to establish the borders of their respective territories.

Unable to reach an agreement, they decided to challenge each other in a race: at dawn, as the cockerel crowed, a horseman would leave Florence and Siena, and the point at which they met would determine the border between the two republics. The Florentines adopted a strategy: they kept their black cockerel fasting to make it crow before sunrise, thus allowing their horseman to leave earlier and travel further.

In 1967, the mention Classico was definitively allowed in the production regulations for Chianti, which became an autonomous DOCG in 1996. This is a type of wine that can boast a history of more than 300 years and is one of the most famous in the world.



The Production Regulations

The first regulation that admitted the existence of the name Classico Chianti was a DOC in 1967, later replaced by a DOCG in 1984 and, finally, by an autonomous regulation in 1996, definitively aimed at the maximum protection and enhancement of the historic production area, limited to only 9 municipalities in the provinces of Florence and Siena, all in the same area that gave its name to Chianti Classico wine.

The best bottles are made from at least 80% Sangiovese grapes, with the possible addition of other red grapes, both native and international. Suitable vineyards are those located at an altitude of no more than 700 metres above sea level, cultivated with Guyot, Tuscan arch or spurred cordon training systems.

They can only be marketed from the 1st of October of the year following the harvest. Chianti Classico with the Riserva designation can only be released for consumption after 24 months of ageing, while the Gran Selezione labels must be aged for at least 30 months. The latter version occupies the highest position in the pyramid of this variety.

The Gallo Nero symbol, issued by the dedicated Consortium, distinguishes all the bottles that reflect this specification and therefore identify themselves with the historic production territory.



Food Pairings

Chianti Classico wines have a fairly intense ruby red colour, with more intense tones that tend towards garnet with ageing in the Riserva and Gran Selezione versions. The aromas are usually intense and distinctive, often leaning towards evolved and persistent notes. On the palate they are dry, fresh, savoury and with subtle and enveloping tannins, characteristics that are exalted in the best products such as those of Chianti Classico Antinori, perhaps the most famous winery that produces this fantastic product.

In order to taste the full-bodied and important expressions at their best, it is advisable to open the bottle a few hours beforehand and to use a tulip-shaped glass of good size. The recommended serving temperature is 16°-18°C.

The younger, less demanding versions are always very pleasant to drink and go very well with white meat and grilled meat dishes, typical Tuscan soups and cheeses of all kinds. The more important and structured versions, on the other hand, are a perfect accompaniment for more savoury dishes: game, roasts, stews and braised meats and very mature cheeses. However, the most classic and traditional combination is unique and famous, and has become a great international certainty: the Florentine steak.

If you too are a lover of the best Italian wine and food excellence, discover the greatest examples of Chianti Classico DOCG on sale online at the best price on Callmewine, choosing among a vast selection of the best brands from the most important wineries, where you can find great offers and sommelier advice.