CHIANTI WINE TOUR,
among Vineyards, small 'Borghi', and Castles of the CHIANTI REGION
A full day Tour, to the discovery of the Chianti region, where Vineyards, small 'Borghi' and Castles give life to a landscape of Tuscany you will not forget. An ideal Terroir for CHIANTI WINE one of the best known wines in the world
A bit of HISTORY of CHIANTI Production:
The grape composition for Chianti has changed dramatically over the years. The earliest examples of Chianti were a white wine but gradually evolved into a red. Baron Bettino Ricasoli, the future Prime Minister in the Kingdom of Italy created the first known "Chianti recipe" in 1872, recommending 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca. In 1967.
The ' Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC)' regulation set by the Italian government firmly established the "Ricasoli formula" of a Sangiovese-based blend with 10-30% Malvasia and Trebbiano. However some producers desired to make Chianti that did not conform to these standards-such as a 100% varietal Sangiovese wine, or all red wine grape varieties and perhaps with allowance for French grape varieties such as Cabernet, Sauvignon or Merlot to be used. A few producers went ahead and made their "Chianti" as they desired but, prohibited from labeling, sold them as simple ' vino da tavola' Despite their low level classifications, these "super Chiantis" became internationally recognized by critics and consumers and were coined as Super Tuscans. The success of these wines encouraged government officials to reconsider the DOCG regulations with many changes made to allow some of these 'vino da tavola' to be labelled as Chiantis.
The present rules for the production of Chianti Classico wine provide for a minimum ratio of 80% for Sangiovese, the typical red variety of the zone. Along with the Sangiovese, other red grapes of the area can be used in a maximum percentage of 20%. These grapes include natives like Canaiolo and Colorino as well as “international” varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, all recommended and/or authorized for the production zone.
Today the name "Chianti" is a guarantee of noble wine, produced according to strict laws that protect the quality standard and with it , the sensory characteristics.
The DOCG Chianti is produced in the area between the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena. It is hilly area with large terraces and river valleys.
This territory has been producing wine since the time of the Etruscans, but only in 1800 has obtained the Denomination of Controlled Origin - DOC
A bit of LEGEND AND MYSTERY
(from the Legend of the Black Rooster, published by 'Consortium Chianti Classico')
The trademark always found on bottles of Chianti Classico is the Black rooster, historic symbol of the Chianti Military League and among other things depicted by the famous artist Giorgio Vasari on the ceiling of the Salone dei Cinquecento at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
The history of this symbol also includes a curious legend from medieval times recounting an event that in actual fact led to the definition of the political boundaries of the Chianti territory, with a black rooster’s behavior ostensibly decisive.
As the legend has it, in medieval times when the Republics of Florence and Siena were bitterly fighting for dominance, Chianti territory – because it lies between the two cities – was constantly fought over. To end the dispute and establish definitive borders of dominion, a very odd method was chosen. It was agreed that two knights would depart from their respective cities and fix the boundary point at where they met. Departure was to be at dawn and the signal to ride given by rooster crow, quite logical for an epoch when daily routines were paced by natural rhythm. In preparing for the event, more importance was given to the choice of the rooster than of the rider or the horse. The Sieneses chose a white rooster, and the Florentines a black one, which they kept in a small, dark chicken coop and practically starved for so many days that it was desperate.
On the fatal day, as soon as it was freed from the coop the rooster began to crow, although dawn was still far away. His loud crowing allowed the Florentine knight to set off posthaste and much ahead of his Sienese counterpart who had to wait for daybreak for his rooster to crow. And since the Florentine horseman had such a head start he met up with the Sienese knight at Fonterutoli, a mere 12 kilometers from the latter’s departure point.
And so nearly all of Chianti was brought under the power of the Republic of Florence, much earlier than the defeat of Siena itself.
9.00: Departure for CASTELLINA IN CHIANTI, Chianti Region. Arrival at around 10.15 .
Visit of a local WINE - farm of Chianti Classico.. Visit of the Estate. Wine tasting of different kinds of Chianti wine. We will see how it is produced a wine of consistent quality, respecting the original areas, through the meticulous work and passion of many people.
12.00: Departure for GREVE IN CHIANTI. Greve is located in a strategic position at the crossroads of three important pilgrimage roads - the Chiantigiana road, the road to Valdarno and the road to Val di Pesa. Position which favored its economic growth.
Some free time to visit this small beautiful town
13.30: Light Lunch in a local restaurant. Typical Tuscan recipes
14.30: Departure for a Castle of the Chianti valley. Arrival at around 15.00
Visiting a castle means entering the culture, history and traditions of an area. We will visit it also to find out about the wines produced there. To share the passion workers have for what they do.
Explanation of the different stages of wine production and wine tasting of the wines produced in the property.
16.30/17.00: Departure back to Cortona.
Arrival at around 18.30/17.00