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Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico

Chianti,  part of the Tuscany wine region,  is the best known of Italy’s quality wine designations having  a wine making history dating back centuries.
 
 
 
 
 The Neverending Search for the True  Chianti Classico..
 
Chianti Chianti Classico is born in 1716 when Grand Duke Cosimo III of Tuscany designated  the hilly land round  the villages of Radda, Greve, Panzano, Gaiole and Castellina as a special wine growing area
 
 Later Bettino Ricasoli a leading 19th century Tuscan wine merchant, and sometimes  prime minister of  newly united Italy, devised what is now regarded as traditional Chianti. To a blend of predominantly  Sangiovese, with some other red varieties and a  dash of white grape such as Malvasia, was applied certain other techniques  intended to tame the harsh Sangiovese and assist a faster maturation.
 
 Prior to this and dating back as far as the thirteenth century, Chianti was a white wine made from grapes grown on the hills around Radda, Gaiole and Castellina. 
 
In the 1930s the growing area was substantially expanded and today Chianti production stands at over 750,000 ltrs, (20 million gallons) placing it at the top of the tree for volume among Italian quality  wine. 
 
  Although all Chianti wines are dominated by the Sangiovese grape, the difference in soil and climate between the vineyards can create a very diverse range of tastes and styles, often creating confusion in the mind of the wine drinker. To overcome this problem a number of sub regions was created, the most important  being the Classico region.
  
 Here among the exceptionally scenic, hilly Tuscany countryside, Sangiovese grapes find the ideal  level of dryness and warmth required, to produce a well balanced wine capable of aging, which shoud be a perfect match to the simple local cuisine.
 
 Since 2006 the regulations which once insisted that white wine had to be added to the blend, now forbid such a procedure and all  Classico wines are at least eighty percen150px-Chianti Classicot  Sangiovese to which up twenty percent of some other red varietals can be added.
 
 There are two styles of Chianti Classico, the basic version can only be released after the 1st October, the year following the harvest, while Chianti Classico Riserva must undergo  an additional twenty four months of ageing before  being released, including at least 3 months in bottle. The traditional Slavonian Botte is slowly being replaced by the smaller French barrique in some upmarket wineries.
 
 
 

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