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With rolling hills and wooded countryside, the Chianti region is in the heart of the historic and beautiful region of Tuscany.

Chianti was one of the first delimited wine zones in Europe with codification for the modern Chianti zone established in 1932.         Eight sub-zones of Chianti:  Classico, Rufina, Colli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane, Colli Arentini and Montalbano, Montespertoli. 

The basic recipe for Chianti was updated in 1996 calls for 70% to 100% Sangiovese with  many of the sub-zones requiring a minimum of 75% Sangiovese.  The addition of white grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia is optional eventhough these two white grapes were part of the original recipe from the 1870s.  Other red grapes from the region can be blended into the wines, but must be no more than 15% of the final blend.  

The Chianti Classico region contains the original Chianti zone set by Grand Duke Cosimo III de Medici in 1716.  There were four villages that could append their names with “in Chianti”

These villages are Castellina, Gaiole, Radda and Greve.   In the 1870s Gaiole nobleman Bettino Ricasoli codifed the formula for the redwines of Chianti; Sangiovese with Canaiolo combined with Trebbiano Tuscano and Malvasia.   

Chianti Classico must contain a minimum of 80% Sangiovese.  A new category has been designated in CC since 2013, Gran Selezione is a single vineyard wine from the Chianti Classico region and must be aged for 30 months in barrique before release.   

barrel cellar in Chianti

Sangiovese is the principal grape of the regions’ DOCGs:  

Chianti, Chianti Classico, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano, Montecucco Sangiovese and Brunello di Montalcino

June 04, 2016 by Cara Schwindt