Chianti is the heart of Tuscany par excellence.
Valleys and gentle hills, harsh slopes and scrub woodlands, stone-built farmhouses and architecturally churches. The Chianti landscape, in its complexity and rich variety, is the result of centuries of fruitful relations between nature and the work of man.
The hills have been transformed and adapted to the needs of man, the terrain has been enriched with vines and olives, the human community took root following the harmony between its age-old origins and tradition.
The result is the splendid agricultural landscape that had made famous in the world this corner of Tuscany, a fascinating panorama lying between Florence and Siena.
Taken together, the climate, terrain and altitude make Chianti a region particularly suitable to the production of quality wines.
A region suitable to the production of quality wines
Vines arrived in Chianti at the time of the Etruscans and were cultivated during the Roman Empire and after its fall, thanks to the work of Benedictine and Vallombrosian monks, who spread its cultivation and preserved its production techniques.
After 1000 a specialized culture of winemaking developed in protected ambients (vs. damage and theft), even within Florence’s city walls. This endorsed the enduring bond between wine and territory. Old street names in Florence — via della Vigna Nuova, via della Vigna Vecchia, and the oratory of Santa Maria delle Vigne, now Santa Maria Novella — bear witness to this.
Chianti wine is first mentioned in 1398, when it was still a white wine whose organoleptic features were quite different from those of today’s wines. Through gradual change it came ever closer to the Chianti that we know today, becoming a product of excellence whose name and quality required protection.
The first regulation dates to 1444, when the Lega del Chianti imposed set dates for the harvest. This was only allowed after 29 September, so as to produce ‘quel buon wine che si vende tanto bene’. To combat wine fraud in 1716, Gran Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III de Medici, set rules for its production, the areas where it could be grown, and its name.
The year 1874 marks an important point in the history of Chianti, with the definition of the blend that then won a Gold Medal at the international exhibition in Paris and that still makes it a unique wine which is appreciated worldwide.
A wine inextricably bound to the land where it grows, the result of passion and tradition, technique and nature’s generosity, with a rich history that makes it stand out. Its history, rooted in the Renaissance, enriches the wine with noble overtones making it part of the age of the land from which it comes and its cultural and artistic patrimony.
The great figures of Tuscan art have always recognised the excellence of Chianti wine appreciating it without reserve. Michelangelo, was a wine-grower and wine-lover, exalted it in his correspondence. Machiavelli, while writing The Prince, enjoyed spending time in the hostelries of Chianti to drink wine. Francesco Redi cantava nel “Bacco in Toscana” (1685):