TRAVELLING TO ITALY: TUSCANY AND CHIANTI
I continue the selection of “Travelling to Italy”. I humbly write to you about Tuscany, one of the most important wine regions in Italy and in the World.
Tuscany is not only famous for his wines, obviously, but also for the local culture, fine food, arts and for the surrounding natural landscapes. I am sure that you already know Florence and the historical arts. Also the Chianti area which fascinated millions of people from around the world with his green valleys.
Tuscany is the region that connects the Medirian Sea with the beautiful hills of Pisa, Siena and Arezzo, from the Appennini Mountains to the Apuane Alps. So it’s a unique scene for romantic movies, indeed Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions of Italy!
HILLS OF CHIANTI
I have decided to talk about Tuscany in different articles since the vastity of the wine production. Today I will focus on the most famous wine region in Tuscany, the Chianti Region.
Do you know why the Chianti is so famous in the entire World? Not just for his excellent wines but also for the beauty of the surrounding landscape painted from different colours over the seasons. Also known historically as a point of trades between Siena and Florence, the region is rich in history and culture.
To start we need to make a clear distinction between Chianti DOCG (which is a vast area in Tuscany) and Chianti Classico DOCG (special denomination in the heart of Chianti Region).
CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG
Chianti Classico is the oldest area in Chianti region divided in between the city of Siena and Florence. Today in the region are included 11 cities authorized to produce Chianti Classico DOCG, which you can recognize from the distinctive “Gallo Nero” stamp on the bottle. Each area of the Chianti is different for the soil, the exposure to the sun and the characterization that it leaves to the wine. For this reason every Chianti Classico is different from the other, because each area produces different nuances that you can find in the wine.
The grapes used in the wine production are for the majority Sangiovese with must be present in the blend at least at the 80%. In the rest 20% they can use an autoctone grape variety but also international as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
As today winemakers can produce three type of Chianti Classico:
1. ANNATA: Is the youngest wine which is released the following year from the harvest
2. RISERVA: Must be matured at least for 24 months from the harvest
3. GRAN SELEZIONE: Matured at least 30 months, made from a single vineyard (cru) or from the selection of the best grapes.
The wine is matured almost always in small oak to produce well know international and modern products, or in large oak to produce a classic and authentic wine from this region. If you want more information on classic Chianti wine, I suggest you visit the official website of the consortium.
Do you what to know two type of Chianti Classico? Here two examples of small production just in the heart of Chianti Classico, at Greve al Chianti. Try the Chianti Classico DOCG 2014 and the Chianti Classico Riserva 2013 of Villa Calcinaia.
TRAVELLING TO ITALY: VILLA CALCINAIA
Just a quick overlook of the history of this fabulous winery. In the 1524 Capponi’ s Family has purchases the lands where the actual winery in operation nowadays. The Old Villa and his vineyards, the olive trees ad the forest are spectacular, covering 225 ha in total, where you can live the real atmosphere of the region.
The winery is fully equipped to accommodate visitors, perfect for staying overnight or to celebrate weddings. If you like to visit the winery contact us we will arrange the visit for you and your friends.
TRAVELLING TO ITALY: CHIANTI DOCG
The Chianti DOCG compared with the Chianti Classico DOCG is much wider and covers also the area of Arezzo, Pisa and Prato.
There are 7 subregions in the Chianti DOCG, all of them with distinctive differences easily recognized in the glass.
Colli Aretini DOCG
Colli Senesi DOCG
Colline Pisane DOCG
Colli Fiorentini DOCG
What are the differences with the Chianti Classico? First of all, they can use less percentage of Sangiovese which is at the 70% minimum (Classico 80%). More they can blend the juice with some white grapes as per tradition in Tuscany. The vastity of the area allows the diversity in the result wines, in fact, the terroirs are the key element of this wonderful region.
The wines of these Chianti sub-areas can be very different from each other, given the distance between them. Change the soil, change the altitude and therefore the climate, but also the sensations that the wine leaves on the palate. What do you have to do to understand the differences between the various areas of Chianti? Try various wines from the various sub-areas and you will be able to find the differences!
TRAVELLING TO ITALY, TUSCANY TO BE CONTINUED
This article is only a small part of the incredible Tuscany region. Don’t be afraid because can be complicated, because the Shelved Wine’ team is here to help. We want to make this process, your gradual improvement, in the world of wine easy.
The next articles we will talk about Brunello di Montalcino e Nobile di Montepulciano.
Article by MORRIS LAZZONI
VinoperPassione | www.vinoperpassione.com
The cover photo is from the www.chianticlassico.com website and shows the Fattoria di Montemaggio Winery in Radda in Chianti.