A short wine history of Chianti Classico | Magazine Principe Corsini

A short wine history of Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico through history

After telling how the Chianti has reached its wine-making vocation and established the boundaries of the production area thanks to the Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici, the history of Chianti Classico passes through Baron Bettino Ricasoli and the foundation of the Consorzio del Gallo Nero which still today defends and promotes Chianti Classico wine in the world.

The Chianti wine blend defined by Bettino Ricasoli

The 19th century saw the birth of a new landowner figure interested not only in income, but also in farm management and experimentation with new methods of agricultural production.

An example of what has been said is represented by Baron Bettino Ricasoli (1809-1880), agricultural landowner and future President of the Council of the Kingdom of Italy, who on the basis of the studies carried out by the Georgofili Academy, devoted himself to improving agricultural techniques in his possessions of Brolio. In 1874, after three decades of experimentation, he came to define the Chianti blend, which was to be inspired by the 1984 disciplinary over a century later.

The birth of Chianti wine

At the time it consisted of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 10% Trebbiano and Malvasia and the remaining 5% complementary vines, including Mammolo and Colorino. The “blend” of Ricasoli was immediately successful, so much so that in 1878 the Chianti won the first gold medal at the international exhibition in Paris.

The characteristic of Ricasoli wine, beyond quality, is to be rich in scents and flavors and to be authoritative for its character. It was born to be poured and sipped calmly or to accompany a roast, but it lent itself very well to be enjoyed with satisfaction even with the typical Tuscan cold cuts. With its peculiar organoleptic characteristics, it represented that part of Italian nobility that was at ease with both royalty and simple people.

The Black Rooster Consortium

In order to protect the image and the quality of this increasingly widespread and appreciated wine, on May 14th 1924 a group of thirty-three producers gave birth to the Consortium of the “Black Rooster”, whose social purpose was the preservation of Chianti and its brand.

Among the founding members there are: Dr. Emanuele dei Principi Corsini and Guido dei Principi Corsini, evidence of how the family was already committed to the defense of Chianti wine. In its first years of history the Consortium supported long legal battles to obtain exclusive recognition, according to which wines from the Chianti area had to be distinguished from other wines produced in other areas of Tuscany.

The Chianti Classico DOCG

In 1967 the decree recognizing a single Denomination of Controlled Origin (D.O.C.) of the Chianti enters into force, within which the “Classic” is disciplined as a wine with more selective characteristics. Today, Chianti Classico is an autonomous DOCG with its own production disciplinary distinct from that of Chianti.

The 1984 specification provides that “Chianti Classico” wine must be obtained from grapes produced in the production area and from vineyards with Sangiovese grapes for a minimum of 80%.  The vinification, storage and bottling operations must take place exclusively within the production area and may be released for consumption from 1st October following the harvest.

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