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Chianti Wineries

Chianti Classico

Chianti, the region where Chianti Classico wine has been produced for centuries, is the part of Tuscany bordered to the north by the suburbs of Florence, to the east by the Chianti Mountains, to the south by the city of Siena, and to the west by the valleys of the Pesa and Elsa rivers. It is a land of ancient traditions that was civilized in remote periods, first by the Etruscans, who left many traces of their activity in the wine sector, and then by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, the cities of Florence and Siena battled for control over the zone. Villages, monasteries, castles, and fortresses appeared during that period, many of which were transformed into villas and country residences during more tranquil eras. Subsequently, spaces were cleared in the vast chestnut and oak forests for the cultivation of vines and olive trees, an agricultural endeavor that has progressively assumed major economic importance and helped the region establish an international reputation.

The wine produced in the zone was referred to as Chianti as early as 1398, and in the 17th century, wine exports to England became increasingly frequent. With the agrarian revival in Tuscany in the early 18th century, the sharecropper system came to dominate Chianti, and the landscape was enriched as work was organized differently. Many of the surviving farms date from that period. From the end of the 19th century to the threshold of the new millennium, Chianti Classico wine has consistently earned the affection of wine lovers throughout the world, securing the prosperity and well-being of the region.

Chianti Classico

Siena and Florence are the capitals of Chianti, which is shared by the provinces of the two communities. The zone encompasses 70,000 hectares (172,900 acres) and includes the entire territories of the communes of Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, and Radda in Chianti, as well as parts of those of Barberino Val d’Elsa, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Poggibonsi, San Casciano Val di Pesa, and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa. Forests occupy almost two-thirds of the zone. Oaks grow just about everywhere, while chestnuts thrive primarily on the eastern side of the district. Conifers are concentrated at higher altitudes, while stands of pines are common on the low hills to the south of Florence. Wild animals are not as numerous as they once were, but it is still possible to observe pheasants, wild boar, hares, and roebucks in the zone.

The Chianti wine-producing area was delimited in 1932 by ministerial decree, and the boundaries have remained unchanged since then. The decree described the district where Chianti Classico is produced as the “the oldest zone of origin,” thus recognizing its primacy and according it a special identity. Even at that time, the Chianti territory was recognized as the original production zone of a wine that had to be identified by the term “Classico” to distinguish it from the Chiantis created later and produced in different territories. Classico means, therefore, “the first” or “the original.”