Picture of the Day: Colorful Vineyards of Chianti Classico in Tuscany
COLORFUL VINEYARDS OF CHIANTI CLASSICO
Chianti is a red Italian wine produced in Tuscany. It was historically associated with a squat bottle enclosed in a straw basket, called a fiasco; however, the fiasco is only used by a few makers of the wine now; most Chianti is now bottled in more standard shaped wine bottles. Baron Bettino Ricasoli (later Prime Minister in the Kingdom of Italy) created the Chianti recipe of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca in the middle of the nineteenth century.
During the 1970s producers started to reduce the quantity of white grapes in Chianti. In 1995 it became legal to produce a Chianti with 100% Sangiovese. For a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes. A Chianti may have a picture of a black rooster (known in Italian as a gallo nero) on the neck of the bottle, which indicates that the producer of the wine is a member of the Gallo Nero Consortium, an association of producers of the Classico sub-area sharing marketing costs. Since 2005 the black rooster has been the emblem of the Chianti Classico producers association.
In 1716 Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany issued an edict legislating that the three villages of the Lega del Chianti (Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, and Radda in Chianti) as well as the village of Greve and a 2-mile (3-km) stretch of hillside north of Greve near Spedaluzza as the only officially recognized producers of Chianti. This delineation existed until July 1932, when the Italian government expanded the Chianti zone to include the outlying areas of Barberino Val d’Elsa, Chiocchio, Robbiano, San Casciano in Val di Pesa and Strada. The 1932 expansion was canonized into DOC regulations in 1966. Since the mid 1980s, the Chianti Classico zone has had its own DOCG recognized area separate from the greater Chianti region. As of 2006, there were 17,640 acres (7,140 ha) of vineyards in the Chianti Classico region. [Source]