Chianti wine is one of the most popular types of wine worldwide. Many will relate it with Hannibal Lecter, the psychopath at “The Silence of the Lambs,” who claimed to have a drink while committing atrocities, or to the saga of “The Godfather”, where you could not miss it in any of the undercover restaurants of the Mob. But regardless this, Chianti is one of the Italian wines with the longest tradition and more accepted. Do you want to discover the secrets of Chianti?
Tuscany is one of the oldest regions in which wine is made, next to Piedmont. In the 60’s these wines were known for their insignificance and little body and flavor, but since the mid-80’s innovative work in the area led them to a much-better-quality of these wines.
There are several designations of origin, in Tuscany, producing Chianti, but it was the principal, the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllatae Garantita) Chianti Classico, the first one on leading a change.
5 Tuscan provinces have the right to the appellation Chianti, one of the largest in Italy, and the most important features are:
- The Chianti, which is actually a rosé wine, or to be proper, a red wine (for its elaboration) which is made with white and red grapes, hence the pale color.
- The bottle feature, inserted into a crushed straw basket, has a traditional origin. The straw was used in granaries to keep the bottled wine before drinking, and it was also used to transport the bottles to the market. Today is their main hallmark.
- The use of white grapes was established in the nineteenth century, but today the presence of these grapes has become almost symbolic, so the wines have more colorand strength than before, winning prestige.
- The principal grape in its development is the Sangiovese grape.
- The secondary grape varieties are canaiolo and for a smaller proportion, the white varieties like Trebbiano and Malvasia of Chianti.
- They also authorized the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other red varieties up to a 10% of the wine.
- Production areas are: Chianti Classico, Rufina Chianthi (the largest and the smallest are the 2 who has given fame to the area), along with Colli Senesi, Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Montalbano, Colli Aretini and Colline Pisano.
- Chianti is a qualified Denomination of Origin (or its Italian equivalent, DOCG), and not just a Denomination of Origin (in Italy, DOC) since 1984.
- In addition, after fermentation, they used to add raisins or dried grape paste, to increase the rate of sugar and unleash a second fermentation, so the wine ganes in softness. This practice is almost forgotten nowadays.
- The same region produces some of the most famous sweet wines of Italy, vin santo, with its own identity and trademark.
Although most of the Chianti wines are perfect to consume young,for its fruity flavors freshness, and smoothness provided by the mixture of grapes, the quality jump that these wines have experienced in recent years has provide great chiantis that can age for many years maintaining and even gaining quality over the years.
Would you like to try the chianti? Well, here are some not to be missed:
As we mentioned, the Chianti Classico area is the one which offers the highest quality wines. This Granaio will discover you why. Fantastic wine, fruity, soft and pleasant.
Perfect Chianti to start knowing the area. Young, very soft and fragrant. This wine is ideal to take with a “spaghetti aglio e olio.”