Have you ever been to the Chianti Classico territories? Where is the best place to have a wine tasting in Chianti? Which wineries to visit in Tuscany and specifically in the Chianti Classico area?
In this article we answer all these questions and more.
In fact, before we take a closer look at which wineries you can find in Chianti Classico, we will tell you more about this wonderful wine, how its production takes place, how to best taste it and what is the history of the very famous symbol of the black rooster.
If you already know the part related to its production and history, you can skip directly to the section dedicated to Chianti Classico wineries.
Let’s get started right away!
Chianti Classico production and winemaking
Chianti Classico DOCG is an important red wine from the Tuscan region and has an ancient history. In fact, it was the first wine in the world to have its own legally delimited production area.
This wine is produced in the Tuscan region between Florence and Siena. It consists of 70,000 hectares that include the entire municipalities of Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Radda in Chianti and partly those of Barberino Tavarnelle, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Poggibonsi and San Casciano in Val di Pesa.
Chianti Classico is a wine of great tradition and prestige, known for its structure and complexity.
The vineyards are cultivated using traditional and environmentally friendly methods to ensure the quality of the grapes and the health of the land.
What grapes are used for the production of Chianti Classico? Mainly we have Sangiovese, present in percentages that can range from 80 to 100 percent, with the addition of other varieties such as Canaiolo and Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Its particular grape composition gives the wine a characteristic ruby red color and an intense, spicy aroma.
The best grapes are destined for Riserva from the beginning and are aged in small oak barrels that release their aromas to the wine.
The symbol of the Black Rooster – 300 years of history
In this paragraph we tell you the history of the Black Rooster symbol. For 300 years the black rooster has been the symbol of Chianti Classico.
When it is placed on the neck or on the label of a bottle, in fact, it allows to distinguish a wine really produced within the Chianti territory (a Chianti Classico wine) from those produced outside this territory in the rest of Tuscany, i.e. “Chianti” wines without the appellation “Classico ” and without the Black Rooster.
Are you familiar with the legend of the Black Rooster?
The story goes that in the medieval period, after years of bloody war between the Republic of Florence and the Republic of Siena for control of the Chianti territory, it was decided to end the war and determine the boundaries of the two republics through a special competition.
At an appointed day, at the first cockcrow, a horseman would gallop from their respective cities, and at the point where they would meet, the border would be drawn.
The Sienese chose a white rooster to start their knight, and in the days leading up to it they fed him at will. The Florentines, on the other hand, chose a black rooster that they placed in an uncomfortable cage and left it to fast for several days.
On the day of the challenge, the Florentines’ black rooster, by then exasperated by hunger and the uncomfortable cage sang long before dawn, and the knight was able to leave with a decisive advantage over the Sienese, whose rooster, well satiated and relaxed, woke up and sang long after the first light of dawn.
So it was that the horsemen met just a few kilometers from Siena, near Fonterutoli, in Castellina in Chianti, where the border between the two republics was set.
How to pair with Chianti Classico?
How to pair Chianti Classico? Medium-bodied Chianti Classico with low tannins is suitable for accompanying grilled red meats. More elaborate dishes, on the other hand, such as game or dishes containing aged cheeses, require the more structured Riserva.
Now that you know the history of Chianti Classico, how and where it is produced, and what foods to accompany it with, let’s see where you can enjoy a great glass of Chianti Classico by finding out which wineries you should miss in the Chianti Classico area.
We have identified 5 of them!
1. Winery not to be missed in Chianti Classico: Santa Margherita
We begin the Chianti Classico tour with the Santa Margherita – Tenimenti Toscani winery.
Santa Margherita is one of the largest and best known wineries in Italy and has a global presence.
In fact, its production of the highest quality, aimed at enhancing territorial identity, has decreed the winery’s success even outside its borders, turning it into a true market leader.
Founded in 1935 by Gaetano Marzotto, Santa Margherita Gruppo Vinicolo groups ten different estates in some of the finest regions of Italian oenology: Veneto-Orientale, Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Lugana, Franciacorta, Trentino-Alto Adige, Chianti Classico, Maremma, Sicily and Sardinia.
Santa Margherita is a winery that has always been attentive to issues of eco-sustainability, investing heavily in renewable energy.
2. Castello di Fonterutoli – Mazzei in Chianti Classico
A gem you absolutely cannot miss is Castello di Fonterutoli, one of the world’s best-known historic wineries.
Located in the village of the same name, Castello di Fonterutoli is in the heart of Chianti Classico, 5 kilometers from Castellina, in the province of Siena and belongs to the Mazzei family.
Here you will find a place unchanged by time, where the charm of the Middle Ages remains intact, as much as the buildings that make it up among the houses, the church of San Miniato and the 16th-century villa.
An estate spread over more than 650 hectares, of which as many as 117 are planted in vineyards, whose grapes are hand-picked and then vinified and aged separately in wood.
Where does the excellence of Castello di Fonterutoli’s production come from?
In its winery: a modern place that guards a centuries-old tradition. An architectural design on three levels of depth, which defines a production process by which the grapes “descend” in the various stages of vinification and maturation to preserve biodiversity and make the quality of each wine.
3. Dianella Winery – located in the town of Leonardo da Vinci
Ever heard of Dianella Winery? The winery is located in Vinci, birthplace of the genius Leonardo. The estate has an area of 90 hectares, 26 of organically managed vineyards.
The predominant variety is Sangiovese along with Colorino, Malvasia, Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, Vermentino and Orpicchio-all native varieties.
The village of Dianella dates back to the 16th century. It consists of a few houses, the church of “San Michele de Aliana” and the Villa, one of the Medici hunting lodges. In 2001 Francesco and Veronica Passerin d’Entrèves began the recovery of the hamlet and the development of the estate.
4. Villa Il Pozzo – gem among the hills of Chianti
Villa il Pozzo is a small gem set among the Chianti hills. It covers an area of 60 hectares in the Chianti Colli Fiorentini area and on the border with Chianti Classico.
When was the winery born? Over 400 years ago! The estate consists of an 18th-century manor house flanked by an imposing medieval watchtower and about 60 hectares of land.
Here you can taste Villa il Pozzo and Monticello, two Chianti DOCGs, along with Luia and Sette Vizi, two Tuscan IGTs.
5. Fattoria Castellina – Chianti Classico winery near Florence
Fattoria Castellina is a historic farm that was established in 1937. We are located in Montalbano, just 20 km from the city of Florence.
The winery produces with biodynamic method Chianti Montalbano D.O.C.G. and Rosso Toscano I.G.T. wines that are the exact expression of the territory.
Here we find not only wine! The winery also produces extra virgin olive oil with an intense and particularly herbaceous aroma.
Want to continue discovering the most beautiful Tuscan wineries and its wonderful landscapes?
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