This famous Italian red has been popular in the UK for many years and even more so in recent years as many people travel to Tuscany to enjoy the countryside, culture, food and wine of the area.
Its history stems from the Etruscans, who were the first to identify the region as an attractive source for grapes and then the Romans further developed the area’s agriculture, which also included olives.
In 1716, Cosimo III De Medici , the Grand Duke of Tuscany, defined the geographical boundaries most suited for grape wine production in the region. Among these areas, the Chianti territory was clearly identified. At that time there was only Chianti, produced in the region of the same name.
In 1932 a ministerial decree recognized the wine produced in the original Chianti area, the one established by the Medici’s decree, the possibility to use the attribute “Classico”, differentiating itself from the Chianti of the neighbouring areas.
The territory, however, is not the only difference between Chianti and Chianti Classico.
The producer must follow the regulations in order to get the reference certification. Both wines are mainly made of Sangiovese grape, however, whereas in Chianti it is required a minimum of 70% of Sangiovese, in Chianti Classico this value increases to 80%.
In recent years more and more producers have moved to produce 100% Sangiovese grape Chiantis and Riserva and Gran Selezione offerings.
However, it’s not only the Chianti region that produces great Sangiovese based wines. Here are four wines to think about adding to your wine list if you haven’t got them already!