The Call of Chianti Classico

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rooster.jpegA new quality classification and logo has been developed for Chianti Classico wines to differentiate them from regular Chianti, reports Reva K Singh, suggesting that you let the Black Rooster take up permanent residence in your home! Chianti Classico is among Italy’s most exported wines and recognized around the world by its black rooster trademark.


The Chianti wine zone is a premium and historic wine producing area. It was established as early as 1716 and is situated between the provinces of Florence and Siena. The Chianti wine zone covers most of Tuscany and has eight districts. The region covers some 70,000 hectares (ha), of which 7,200 ha are planted to Chianti Classico DOCG.
Chianti refers to all kinds of wines, good and not so good. Chianti wines may use the name of the district where their grapes grow or simply Chianti, if their production doesn’t qualify for a district name. Simple Chianti is produced in other parts of Tuscany too.
To make it easier for consumers to recognise the top wines of Tuscany that come specifically under the Chianti Classico banner, a new quality classification, the Gran Selezione, has been developed and old black rooster logo updated
The new logo is different and yet the same. The rooster is still there but it is taller and leaner with his chest puffed out and beak open as though he’s crowing and proclaiming to all the world that the bottle of wine on which he appears is among the best!
The new logo has a sleek modern appearance and a pale background without the old sealing wax border. The rooster will now no longer be seen on the pink State sticker but will appear around the bottle’s neck or on the back label.
As Silvia Fiorentini, Marketing and Communication Manager, Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, pointed out, “The purpose of this change is to enhance the image of Chianti Classico and its terroir and emphasize the difference between plain Chianti and Chianti Classico.”
The Sangiovese grape, which is extremely sensitive to terrain and climate, is the backbone of Chianti and Chianti Classico wines. The minimum permitted ratio of Sangiovese grapes used in the production of the wine is 80%, and it can be as much as 100% Sangiovese.
Wines that qualify for the Gran Selezione designation are at the very top of the Chianti pyramid. According to the new stipulations, to qualify for the Gran Selezione category, a wine has to be produced from grapes grown in the producer’s own vineyards and aged for a minimum of 30 months, of which three are in the bottle. This is in addition to other stricter technical and sensory parameters.
If you love Italian wine and want to taste the best from Tuscany, make the Black Rooster your friend.
A version of this article appeared in Sommelier India, Issue 2, April-May 2013

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