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Chianti Wine

Chianti, situated in Tuscany in central Italy, is home to probably the best-known and most iconic Italian wines in the world. Although a wine of ancient origin, Chianti has been recognized by its geographical area only since the Middle Ages. The zone was officially demarcated by Cosimo Medici III in the early 18th Century, and the wine’s defining character came about under the craftsmanship of Barone Ricasoli in the late 19th century. Back then, it was made using a wide range of local varieties, including white grapes, and eventually became the Chianti DOC in 1967.

Hillside vineyards in Chianti

Its success as a DOC wine fell in the 1970s, as many producers reacted against its mass production and created their wines outside this classification's broad rules; wines were produced as a Vino da Tavola to enable the winemaker to make pure Sangiovese reds, or to add a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. This affected the whole classification system, and in order for the system to overcome this disarray, a new designation was introduced under the guise of IGT, to make way for a new 'trend' of wine which allowed the different blends or varietals not within the rules of the DOC. Even the DOC regulations were eventually adapted, and Chianti was promoted to the higher classification of DOCG in 1984.

Today, Chianti is a source of world-class wines. It has begun to move away from its long-associated image of fiaschi (the squat, straw-covered bottles), and most producers now use the traditional Bordeaux-style bottles that tend to indicate higher-quality wines. Local laws also require wines to have a minimum of 70% Sangiovese (and 80% for the more prestigious Chianti Classico DOCG). The native varieties Canaiolo and Colorino are also permitted, as are the classics Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to a limited degree. In 2006, the use of white grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia was prohibited (except in Chianti Colli Senesi until the 2015 vintage).

Chianti's winemaking zone stretches into the provinces of Prato, Florence, Arezzo, Pistoia, Pisa and Siena. Its vineyards yield more than any other Italian DOC, equating to more than 26 million gallons (750,000hL) a year. The area’s most highly regarded wines come from the Chianti Classico zone, which was awarded a separate DOCG status in 1996, and Chianti Rufina. Rufina and the other six Chianti sub-zones (Chianti Colli Aretini, Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Chianti Colli Senesi, Chianti Colline Pisane, Chianti Montalbano and Chianti Montespertoli) come under the Chianti DOCG, and any wine made in these zones is permitted to use either the name of the sub-zone or simply Chianti.

Chianti is characterized by its red and black cherry character, intermingled with notes of wild herbs, mint and spice, supported by a racy acidity and mellow tannins. It must be aged for a minimum of four months, and for the added designation of superiore, it has to age for an additional three months before release. The label riserva indicates that the wine has been aged for at least 38 months. Another label that can be seen on the market is Chianti Putto, from growers in the Chianti DOCG: the wine's distinctive label features a pink cherub known as Putto.

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Here are some wines produced in this region and all sub-regions, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Ruffino Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $8 254
Tenuta il Palagio When We Dance, Chianti DOCG, Italy Chianti Blend $20 421
Marchesi de Frescobaldi Castello di Nipozzano 'Nipozzano', Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG, Italy Chianti Blend $21 473
Villa Travignoli Chianti Rufina DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $13 727
Collezione di Paolo Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Chianti Blend $15 958
Melini Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Chianti Blend $11 1110
Cantine Leonardo da Vinci 'Da Vinci' Range, Chianti DOCG, Italy Chianti Blend $11 1141
Fattoria Selvapiana Bucerchiale Riserva, Chianti Rufina DOCG, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $30 1744
Piccini Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $10 1796
Castello di Gabbiano Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $8 2339
Cantine Leonardo da Vinci 'Leonardo', Chianti DOCG, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $11 2624
Marchesi de Frescobaldi Castello di Nipozzano Montesodi Riserva, Chianti Rufina DOCG, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $45 2699
Giulio Straccali Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $8 2734
Duca di Cardino Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Chianti Blend $13 2761
Principe Strozzi Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Chianti Blend $13 3043
Marchesi de Frescobaldi Castiglioni, Chianti DOCG, Italy Chianti Blend $13 3480
Colognole Chianti Rufina DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $20 3734
Fattoria Selvapiana Chianti Rufina DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Chianti Blend $16 3742
Le Chiantigiane Montagnana, Chianti DOCG, Italy Chianti Blend $8 4212
Tenute Folonari Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Chianti Blend $8 4220
Ruffino 'Il Superiore', Chianti DOCG, Italy Chianti Blend $11 4360
Castello di Monsanto Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Chianti Blend $10 4679
Barone Ricasoli Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $13 4722
Badia a Coltibuono Cetamura, Chianti DOCG, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $10 4846
Cecchi Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $10 5217
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