What is a Chianti Classico and how is it different from a regular Chianti wine?
Wine has been produced in the Chianti region of Italy for over 300 years, and it was in 1996 that “Chianti Classico" was granted its own, separate DOCG recognition. Both Chianti and Chianti Classico are red wines from the Chianti district in Italy's Tuscany region. Both are made primarily from Sangiovese grapes, but Chianti Classico gets its designation from a number of essential requirements relating to the location, production and aging of the wines.
Key characteristics of a Chianti Classico DOCG:
- The designation classico refers to the original townships where Chianti was first produced historically: Castellina in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, and Gaiole in Chianti (all in Siena province).
- Traditionally Chianti was made from a blend of 70 per cent sangiovese, 15 per cent canaiolo and 15 per cent malvasia bianca. These days, however, the minimum proportion of sangiovese is 80 per cent – and since 1995 it has been legal to make Chianti entirely from sangiovese.
- Chianti classico must be at least 12 per cent alcohol, and have been aged in oak barriques for a minimum of seven months.
- The symbol of the black rooster (gallo nero) on the bottle seal of a bottle of wine confirms that the producer is located in the Chianti Classico denomination and is a member of the Chianti Classico Consortium. It is usually indicative of good quality.
- Riserva must have been aged for at least 24 months before release by the winemaker.
Chianti Classico Day – European Art of Taste, London.
On Wednesday 22nd November two of our most renowned Chianti producers visited London to showcase their Chianti Classico wines for the European Art of Taste; Chianti Classico Day, at The Royal Horticultural Halls London.
The grand Lindley hall was an elegant backdrop to the event, a celebration of Tuscan food and culture. We had the pleasure of supporting two of our most highly acclaimed Chianti Classico estates; Quercia al Poggio and Querciabella. Paola Bianchi joined us from Quercia al Poggio to introduce the wines to some of the UK’s most influential trade and industry press, sommeliers and private consumers. Attendees had the pleasure of sampling Quercia al Poggio Chianti Classico 2013, 2014 and Chianti Classico Reserva 2011 and 2012.
Quercia al Poggio is a beautiful estate situated about 400 metres above sea level, in the municipality of Barberino Val d’Elsa. The property extends over 100 hectares of organic woodland nature reserve, where the vines grow harmoniously alongside olive trees and wild woodland. The heart of the winery is a nineteenth century farming settlement and what was once a monastery belonging to the Vallombrosan brothers from nearby Badia a Passignano. Today, the estate is owned and run by the Rossi family.
The charming and gregarious Georgio Fragiacomo joined us from Querciabella. Founded in 1974, Querciabella enjoys the acclaim of the world’s most discerning critics and consumers for its exquisite range of biodynamic wines including Camartina, Batàr, Palafreno, Querciabella Chianti Classico and Mongrana. With vineyards located throughout Tuscany’s Chianti Classico and Maremma areas, Querciabella has continually honed its approach to biodynamic viticulture for over a decade.
Georgio sampled the Querciabella and Querciabella Reserva 2013 and 2014; their iconic Chianti Classico DOCG made of 100% Sangiovese.
Find out more about our Chianti Classico producers here: Quercia-al-Poggio and Querciabella.