Chianti - where is it from and what grapes are used
In honor of our recent trip to Italy, today we'll talk Chianti.
Like most other wines made in the Old World, Chianti derives its name not from the grape used to make the wine, which is Sangiovese, but from the region where it is made. The Chianti region is located in Tuscany, that romantic area of central Italy known for its sweeping landscapes, burning hot sun and its wealth of art and food history.
For a Chianti to be a Chianti, it must be produced in the Chianti region and be made from at least 80% Sangiovese grapes. While most Chiantis are 100% Sangiovese, some winemakers in the region like to blend the Sangiovese with a little Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah to soften the finished wine. The two versions of Chianti you are most likely to encounter in a store or on a restaurant wine list are Chianti and Chianti Classico. The difference between the two is that Chianti Classico is considered to be a bit more refined and higher end than Chianti; this is because it’s produced from grapes harvested in the best vineyards of the region. In addition, Chianti Classico is required to be aged at least one year. You may have noticed a rooster and DOCG designation on Chianti bottles. The Italian government manages the production of their wines quite closely and to earn the “Rooster Label”, a winery adheres to the rules and they are quite proud of their designation. Why a rooster you ask? Tune in next week.