Tuscany, Chianti Classico

Tuscany is the oldest wine region in Italy, with a long history dating back over 2700 years. The region is on the Western coast of Italy, stretching from the coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea all the way to the Apennine mountains, with the majority of the region being quite hilly.

Contributing to around 6% of Italy's total wine output, Tuscany is the third most planted region, but only the eight biggest producer. Much of this can be attributed to the hilly terroir and poor soils leading to lower yields, but generally higher quality wines. The region produces far more red than white wine, and is responsible for two of the most famous Italian red wines, Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino.

Chianti was first classified in 1716, and the region of Tuscany now has 29 DOC and 7 DOCG classifications. In the 1970s 'Super Tuscan' wines emerged of supreme quality, commanding very high prices. Although they were initially produced outside the DOC or DOCG zones, most of the regions have since been classified, though some producers still opt to use the simpler and less restrictive IGT labelling.

The famous red wine Chianti is based on the the Sangiovese variety, though is most commonly blended with Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. The blending of multiple grapes is common, even Bordeaux blends can be found. White wines produced include Vermentino, Vernaccia, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay.
The Chianti Classico subregion covers an area of approximate 260 square kilometres between the ancient city of Florence to the north and Siena to the south. Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti and Radda in Chianti are the four communes that are located entirely within the Classico area.

Within the collective Chianti region there are more than 8 million cases of wines produced and classified as DOC level or above! Both soils (weathered sandstone & bluish-gray chalky marlstone) and altitude (250 to 610m) make for varied range of wines. Typically producing Sangiovese based wines, medium bodied, with medium to high acidity and firm tannins is what the region is renowned for. The ultimate Pizza wines have so much character and interest and are well worth exploring.
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  1. Castello Di Monsanto Il Poggio Chianti Classico Riserva 2016
    The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Annata is a real knock-out. This is very tight and muscular. Needs at least four to five years to soften. The legend lives. ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Jancis Robinson MW
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