Chianti and Chianti Classico: differences between the two denominations - Principe Corsini

Chianti and Chianti Classico: differences between the two denominations

On September 22, 2019, in the splendid scenery of the Tuscan hills, the 7th edition of the Granfondo del Gallo Nero took place. The cycling event crossed the Chianti Classico territory reaching every historical municipality of this area of Tuscany: Castellina, Gaiole, Radda and Greve.

The departure of both routes, from 83 km and 135 km, was fixed at Radda in Chianti. From there the cyclists reached Panzano and Greve in Chianti and further on Mercatale and San Casciano in Val di Pesa before returning back through Bargino, Castellina, Lucignano and Brolio.

Ph: ©Granfondo del Gallo Nero – Facebook

Granfondo del Gallo Nero: the protagonist is Chianti Classico

The Granfondo del Gallo Nero has attracted hundreds of bike enthusiasts to Chianti Classico, confirming its success also for this edition. At each refreshment point, cyclists were offered local products, including wine and oil from the Chianti wine farms. We welcome the events that enhance our territory and its products.

Not everyone knows that the Chianti area is characterized by several areas each with its own denomination. There is Chianti and there is Chianti Classico: we take this opportunity to clarify the differences.

The distinction between Chianti and Chianti Classico

Although the history of Chianti is much older, the territorial boundaries of the Chianti Classico were officially established around 300 years ago, in 1716, by Cosimo III de’Medici. Only 8 municipalities located between Florence and Siena are included: San Casciano Val di Pesa, Greve in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Barberino di Tavarnelle, Poggibonsi e Castelnuovo Berardenga.

To date only the wines produced in this small territory and which respect the canons established by the production disciplinary can be defined as “Chianti Classico”. Moreover, only the latter is associated with the historic Black Rooster trademark. Chianti wines are instead produced in various areas of Tuscany between Florence, Pisa, Arezzo and Siena.

How to distinguish Chianti and Chianti Classico

Both are red, savory and fruity wines that can be protagonists of many combinations. Both are made from the Sangiovese grape, but in different percentages: a minimum of 70% for Chianti and a minimum of 80% for Chianti Classico.

Attention, what distinguishes the two denominations Chianti and Chianti Classico is not only the area of production and the blend, but also cultivation, minimum alcoholic strength, which for the Classic is at least 12% vol. while for Chianti it is 10% vol., and timing of placing on the market.

The Chianti Classico quality pyramid

According to the production disciplinary, the Chianti Classico labels are divided into: annata, riserva and gran selezione. Here, another difference is evident: the Chianti wine does not include the gran selezione.

The main distinctions between the three qualities concern the aging time, 12 months per year, 24 months per reserve and 30 months for large selection, and the alcohol content, 12% vol. for annata, 12.5% vol. for riserva, 13% vol. for gran selezione. There are also differences in terms of organoleptic characteristics.

The Chianti Classico wines of Principe Corsini

Principe Corsini produces three different Chianti Classico labels, one for each quality, in his own estate, Villa Le Corti in San Casciano Val di Pesa.

Chianti Classico Annata DOCG Le Corti, produced with 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino, is the annata quality of the company. It is born on the hills at about 220 – 300 meters above sea level. Of an intense, fresh and spicy ruby red, it is perfect in combination with red meats.

Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG Cortevecchia, produced with 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino, is an expression of the quality riserva. The grapes are subjected to a longer maturation in wood which allows them to acquire the typical aromas of Chianti Classico.

Finally, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Don Tommaso, produced with 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot, is purple in color with ruby reflections. With an intense fragrance, it goes well with roasts and game, typical flavors of traditional Tuscan cuisine.

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The Principe Corsini winery produces organic and vegan wine and oil in the estates of Villa Le Corti and La Marsiliana.

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