Published: April 12, 2020
Edited: August 12, 2022
All over the world the word Chianti refers to a fine, noble and excellent wine produced in Italy, in the heart of Tuscany. Chianti is one of the best Italian wines, a DOCG wine (controlled and guaranteed denomination of origin) and the production area guaranteed in whole or in part, the 6 province of: Florence, Arezzo, Siena, Pisa, Pistoia and Prato. These territories are largely hilly, surrounded by greenery, magical to the eye, with large terraces and valleys and crossed by rivers. In 1967, when the DOCG obligation was introduced by law, the Chianti denomination was integrated with the following cultivation areas otherwise called sub-areas: Arezzo hills, Florentine hills, Siena hills, Pisan hills, Montalbano, Rufina, Montespertoli.
Chianti: the best wines and production areas
The Chianti dei Colli Aretini, for example, in the province of Arezzo is a young wine to drink.
Unlike this, Chianti Rufina can also be drunk aged, with a soft and velvety flavor.
Chianti Monterspertoli deserves a mention as it is produced exclusively in this town and is perfect in combination with sweets, in fact it is always present in village festivals since it is closely linked to the peasant tradition.
The Chianti Classico DOCG on the other hand, must be aged for 11 months and must not exceed 12 ° alcohol and is produced in the heart of Chianti, in the oldest part for this called classic.
Also worth mentioning is the Chianti Riserva which undergoes a minimum aging of 24 months, of which at least 3 months of aging in bottle. The alcohol content must be at least 12.5%.
The grapes used for Chianti
The vines with which it is allowed to produce it are Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Trebbiano, Malvasia bianca, Sauvignon and Merlot.
Sangiovese is the king of Chianti, or the one that is present in the highest percentage. Sangiovese has the particularity that planted in different soils gives rise to completely different wines. It acquires nobility with ageing and the wine has a beautiful ruby red color with an intense aroma of violet and raspberry. Canaiolo is often mixed with Sangiovese in a percentage of 10% and in any case never more than 20% and gives the wine softness.
Trebbiano is a grape variety that from very fragrant grapes, the wine recognizes aromas of strawberry tree, acacia flowers and oak. It is used together with Sangiovese and Canaiolo.
Malvasia Bianca has round grapes with a juicy pulp and vinified in purity from a white wine with high alcohol, gentle and low acidity.
Cabernet Sauvignon is very famous in France, to make Chianti it is vinified together with Sangiovese.
Finally Merlot, which is a red grape variety, is mixed with Sangiovese and Sauvignon to make the wine soft. These last two international vines, very fashionable in the 80s and 90s often associated with ageing in barriques are increasingly disappearing as producers are increasingly aiming to use indigenous vines.
Organoleptic characteristics of Chianti and combinations
With a perfect lively ruby color, Chianti Classico tends to garnet or purple with ageing depending on the refinement to which it has been subjected. On the nose and on the palate it has a vinous odor, sometimes intensely perfumed with violets and slightly finer in older wines. The flavor is round, sapid, harmonious, slightly tannic which then becomes soft and velvety over time. Fruity notes, of red and black berries including blueberries, black cherry, blackberry, are always present.
When the Chianti has been aged in wood, the aftertaste can be identified in the flavors of vanilla, licorice, tobacco, cocoa. Chianti wine is really perfect to be tasted, even better to taste it sitting while enjoying the immense and green Tuscan hills in which it is produced.
The ideal drinking temperature is between 16 and 18 degrees. The wine needs to oxygenate before being drunk so it is ideal to pour it very slowly from the bottle to the glass, or in the special jug, to make it express its best characteristics. The balloon glass, with a slightly narrow mouth, is necessary in order to be tasted correctly.
The perfect combinations to best taste Chianti
Roasts and red meats cooked on the grill among all the famous Florentine for a Chianti Classico. While game is perfect for an aged Chianti with a more intense body, red meat cooked in a more elaborate way. Tasty first courses and non-spicy aged cheeses are also perfect. Try also with the typical traditional Tuscan dish, or Ribollita (vegetable-based soup).
Fiorentina Steak and Chianti wine go very well together. The famous Fiorentina Tuscany, excellent combined with a good Chianti.
Where to find Chianti
The best wineries If you are passionate about Chianti wine, in Tuscany you will have the opportunity to have really excellent tastings, often combined with a tour that stops in the different and most renowned wineries in the area. For example, to taste Chianti wine directly in the cellars where it is produced and bottled, there is: Fattoria Dianella, located on the hills of Vinci, which opens its doors to visitors and anyone who wants to taste good wine.
Unmissable, if you are in the area, do not go to Radda in Chianti in the Casa del Chianti Classico, a wine shop with the largest collection of Chianti labels in the world. Here you can taste noble and fine wines at a decidedly connoisseur's price. Even in Greve in Chianti there are tastings: the Altiero farm offers their home to offer excellent wines accompanied by various typical Tuscan snacks and the price is accessible to everyone.Finally, the Castello di Verazzano opens its doors to guests offering guided tours and tastings, above average price.
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If you want to visit this beautiful area of Chianti and all of Tuscany you can book the Guides and Drivers of this famous tours operator based in Florence since 1990:
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN TOURS
TUSCANY DAY TRIP