The region is celebrated as the home of Chianti, so well known that it
is often taken as a synonym of Italian wine. The name is very old, and already
appears in 13th century documents. Its name comes from a small area in center
of Tuscany, between the provinces of Siena and Florence.
The name Chianti appears in very reliable documents as early as 1260, but old texts refer most frequently to a Chianti of 1378 when a "Chianti League" was instituted, which comprised the present districts of Gaide, Radda and Castellina.
The production zone has been, however, slowly been extended with the passage with time to include the districts of Poggibonsi, San Casciano Val di Pesa and other Tuscan vineyards bordering it. All of which have produced for a long time a wine that has the same biochemical qualities as the original Chianti.
The wine is now produced in a zone situated in the center of Tuscany, and
extending over the provinces of Florence, Siena, Pisa, Pistoia and Arezzo.
Chianti is divided into two large classifications:
Chianti Classico, which is produced in the central, original area, the hills between Florence and Siena.
Notable among the best vineyards: Vignamaggio, Vigna Vecchio, Nozzole, Villa d'Arceno and Castello di Ceretto.
The other classification is Chianti, which is produced in a larger area, which surrounds the original area.
The wines are allowed to carry, according to their origins, the following appellations:
Chianti dei Colli Fiorentini, Chianti dei Colli Senesi, Chianti dei Colli Pisani, Chianti Rufina, Chianti dei Colli Aretini.
|The characteristics of Chianti are:
a very bright ruby-red color; a dry flavor, which becomes delicate, mild and velvety with age.
The regulations on the production of Chianti lays down that the basics wines must be 50-80 % Sangiovese, 10-30 % Canaiolo nero, 10-30 % Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia del Chianti.
Chianti can be drunk in its first year, at the latest in late spring. Bust best is aged in casks for two or three years.
After, at least two years, it can be labeled Chianti Vecchio, and after three years of aging it is called Chianti Riserva.
Other than Chianti, Tuscany produces the following red wines:
Brunello di Montalcino: a Garnet-red wine with a perfume of violets, excellent with roast and game.
Carmignano: with a bright ruby color, turning to Garnet with age.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Rosso dei Colli Lucchesi.
White wines from the region are:
Vernaccia di San Gemignano, Chianti Bianco.
Rosé from the region are:
Rosatello dei Colli Aretini, Villa di Corte Rosé and Rosé di Bolgheri.
The Elba Island produces several quality wines.
Among the reds are:
Aleatico di Portoferraio and Elba Rosso.
There are more white wines:
Elba Bianco, Procianico d'Elba and Moscato d'Elba.
Among the Rosé:
Vieux Rosé della Walewska (which honors the memory of Napoleon "Polish wife" who followed him to Elba during its exile) and Rosato di Madama.