Chianti – what is Chianti wine?


Bottles of Chianti Classico wine displaying the black rooster (gallo nero) seal.

When the name Chianti is used in relation to wine in a general context, it often means Chianti Classico wine which is a red wine produced from grapes grown in a roughly oval-shaped area located between Florence and Siena in Tuscany, Italy. This region is the historical “Chianti”, previously a recognised political entity but now simply the name of a part of Tuscany and home of Chianti Classico wine. However, there are in fact several other Chianti DOC and DOCG wine zones, sometimes overlapping one another, throughout central Tuscany:

All of these subzones label their wines “Chianti” with the specific DOCG in smaller letters below. Chianti Classico wine bottles must bear the gallo nero logo and a numerical registration which guarantees authenticity (except in the USA where use of the black rooster is prohibited). The Chianti Classico logo has been redesigned recently – not everyone is happy with the new design.

chianti wine zones

The Chianti wines zones

The grape from which Chianti wine is produced is fixed by law and is sangiovese, a grape native to Tuscany and extremely well-adapted to the soil and climate of Tuscany. In former times, other grapes, including white grapes, were used and the results were not all that good. However, modern Chianti is an excellent wine often enhanced by the permitted addition of a small percentage of other red grapes, often cabernet sauvignon or merlot, grown in the zone.

More about vacation possibilities at Chianti wineries.

More about Chianti wine tasting tours.

More about Tuscan and Chianti grape varietals.

Elena Spolaor

Elena Spolaor

About Elena Spolaor

Although Elena was born in Venice, she was brought up in Tuscany and is a historian and frequent contributor to online articles about life in Tuscany and Umbria. Her specialities are Tuscan and Umbrian local history and folklore.

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