Tours of Siena
20 maggio 2011
Tours of the Chianti
20 maggio 2011

Chianti

Chianti is the area (see map…) in Tuscany between Florence and Siena.The road that joins these 2 cities is the extremely panoramic ” Chianti way ” (via Chiantigiana, n.222). Chianti in TuscanyWith its own communes (see map…), we can divide the Chianti in 2 areas:

  1. the Florentine Chianti Greve in Chianti. Then, part of San Casciano, Tavernelle Val di Pesa and Barberino Val d’Elsa.
  2. the Sienese Chianti Castellina, Radda, Gaiole in Chianti. Then, part of both Poggibonsi and Castelnuovo Berardenga.

The origin of the Chianti wine (read more…) goes back to the Etruscans (read more…) who first discovered the importance of that soil (read more…). In the ‘600, the Chianti wine was exported in England.

It is essentially Sangiovese grapes (“blood of Jupiter”, “sangue di Giove”) whose mixture can include 3 other varieties, red Canaiolo ( up to 10%) and white Malvasia and Trebiano (up to 6%).The history for its boundary, along with its legends and traditions, involves the history of Florence and Siena, with their castles, fortresses, and hamlets.

Most of them today have been transformed in refined luxury hotels, or anyway in big private farms, where there are expert wine makers who give guided tours and wine tasting of the wine (and the exquisite olive oil…!) which they produce. During our Tuscany tours, we’ll have fun in talking about it and much more, like the famous symbol of the “black rooster” and its legend…

With our Tuscany tours, we’ll enjoy the most spectacular, unique, and refined of these historical castles, monasteries, or simply little hamlets. It is here…in the heart of Tuscany…in these hidden sites,immerged in a magic atmosphere that we’ll enjoy an unforgettable wine tasting, after a guided tour of the centuries-old place itself and its cellars.

We’ll discover how they produce still today one of the best wines in the world. Its own secrets, legends, and even the (fun!) rivalries among the different farms…

In some of these castles, or even in a monastery, today we can even enjoy a cooking class and eating what we have cooked… such a terrific experience!
To discover where to go and to enjoy it… well, just book our Tuscany tours!
contents: the origin of the Chianti wine soil

The soil of the Chianti area and the characteristics of the earth

With a total of 70.000 hectares ( 172,900 acres), mostly covered by forest, the Chianti Classico is a hilly area with altitudes ranging between 250 and 600 meters (820-1.970 feet).

The climate is continental but temperate.

Because of the characteristics of the climate, soil and altitude, the Chianti Classico area is particularly suited for the production of premium wine.
Vineyards cover a total of 10.000 hectares (24.700 acres).

Origin and history of the Chianti wine

a centuries old tradition that goes back to the Etruscans

The Etruscans were the first people who developed the viticulture in Tuscany, finding the right soil for the grapes particularly in the Chianti area. Then, the Romans. Plinio the old, in his “Naturalis Historia” ( “natural history”) in the 1st century A.D., describes several kinds of grapes coming from that region and he says precisely that “no other land more than the Etruria enjoys the grapes”. The production of the wine in the Chianti area continued even during the Middle Ages, in spite of the constant war between Florence and Siena. When in 1555 Siena was conquered by Florence, there was a long period of peace there and so the cultivation of the wine re-started definitely again. In 1716, the grand duke Cosimo 3rd de’ Medici proclaimed an edict with a law where he established the boundary of the Chianti (still available today) and indicated the areas particularly suited to the cultivation and production of the wine. This is the first document known in the history to define a wine area.

In the 1800, the wine market started preferring the French wines. In the second half of the century, the baron Bettino Ricasoli, owner of the castle of Brolio, committed himself to the re-qualification of that wine, and he established the “formula” of the right Chianti wine: most of all Sangiovese grapes plus the addition of a little percentage of different grapes like Canaiolo, etc. Moreover, he suggested the usage of white grapes in it, such as Malvasia and Trebbiano. This way, the quality came back soon, as well as the request of the world market.

In 1924 was born the “Consorzio del marchio storico” by 33 producers, whose first purpose was to verify the quality of the wine and so the promotion of it. In this occasion it was chosen – as a symbol of the label – the black rooster on golden background, in order to remember the famous legend of the horse competition.

In 1932 were established the areas of production of the Chianti from the rest of Tuscany.In 1967 was recognized the DOC (Controlled Denomination of Origin) and in 1984 was created the DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin).
In 1996 were established 2 different DOCG: Chianti and Chianti Classico, when were included other areas in Tuscany (under the name of “Chianti”), such as the hills of Arezzo.This way, the Chianti was extended to a much larger area: around 1.110 acres.

 

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