In Tuscany, beautiful Chianti hills between Siena and Florence produce one of the best known and appreciated wines in the world, Chianti Classico. A wine produced since the time of the Etruscans and used as a valuable bargaining chip in the seventeenth century.
What distinguishes the Chianti Classico from the other wines of Chianti hills is the unmistakable pink label with the symbol of the Black Rooster on a gold background. This particular label is the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium, created in 1924 to protect this wine and its denomination.
But why a Black Rooster? This is a symbol with a very old history behind. According to the legend, the symbol was adopted to end disputes between Florence and Siena during the 13th century. Both cities decided to make a very special invitation: the meeting point between two parties knights at cockcrow respectively from Florence and Siena, would mark borders of their respective territories. The Florentines chose a black rooster and it is said that they kept him in fasting and in the dark for a few days before the race, so that when he was released crowed well before dawn, allowing the Florentine knight to get farther away. The border was in fact set at less than 20 km from the walls of Siena. Since then the Black Rooster was adopted by the League of Chianti first and then by the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico as a symbol of this fine wine.
Chianti Classico is a DOCG wine, which means that it has been chosen to be part of the most prestigious awards for Italian wines, unique in its kind and precise characteristics. To be so tasty, Chianti Classico has to be produced following particular procedures, especially concerning the use of certain grapes. It must be made up to 80% of Sangiovese grape typical of this area, and the remaining 20% is generally used at the discretion of the manufacturer vines: examples are Canaiolo and Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, just to name a few.
Other characteristic of this wine elements are the bright ruby red color, a smell of mammoleed, a dry, savory and harmonious taste, as well as a minimum alcohol content of 12 degrees. All the requirements to be the wine of your dreams, perfect to be tasted in every occasion.
The best Sangiovese grapes are rather intended for the production of Chianti Classico Riserva, very fine wine with an intense ruby red color with a mandatory minimum aging of 24 months, of which at least 3 in the bottle and a minimum alcohol content of 12.5 degrees.
It is said that those who try Chianti Classico will never forget it, so why not try it?
Goffredo de’ Conti di Segni