Whether your trip to Italy is for business or pleasure, taking the scenic route is always the right choice when traveling in Tuscany.
The Tuscan countryside is praised across the globe for its incomparable beauty and endless rolling hills, but a scenic view is hardly all that this region has to offer. Nestled deep within the lush green hills of the Tuscan countryside Chianti wines ebb and flow as the lifeblood of the region.
The crafting of Chianti wines has been tuned and tweaked over and over throughout the centuries. Recipes and family secrets have been passed down from one generation to the next.
The historically meticulous creation of Chianti wine has led to the production of not just a wine, but a true form of art. The kind of art that only comes to life through perseverance and lifetimes of devotion to a craft.
Chianti requires the type of stubborn passion only found in the hearts of the Italian people.
Quick history lesson
The first recordings of wine production in Italy, in an area comprised of modern Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio italian regions, dates all the way back to 2000 b.C., during the time of the Etruscan civilization.
Though the Romans might be more famous for their wine consumption, it was the Etruscan people that first cultivated vineyards and toyed with new blends of grape varieties. All historical findings indicate that the Etruscan wines of the day were well received and quickly changing.
Italian law dictates that wines labeled ‘Chianti’ must only be produced within the borders of the Chianti region. In 1716 the Grand Duke of Tuscany defined the Chianti region as the 3 villages of the Lega del Chianti (Castellina, Radda and Gaiole) and the village of Greve. Over the years the Italian government has expanded this region little by little until a vast majority of central Tuscany was deemed worthy of the honorable title of Chianti.
What you should know about Chianti
- Chianti is a blended wine made from the combination of grape varieties.
- The grapes most commonly used are Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia.
- Chianti wines are easily recognized by their deep, almost burnt, ruby red color.
- Traditionally Chianti were bottled and then placed into a hand-woven fiasco or ‘flask’ that resembles a straw basket. Although today you will find Chianti bottled in more modern methods as well.
- The flavor of Chianti wines varies greatly thanks to the diversity in grapes used. The aging process, as well as a host of other factors allows these wines to range from sweet and fruity all the way down to dry and full-bodied.
The flavors of a great Chianti will undoubtedly hold their own on your pallet, but these wines truly come to life when paired with a fine Italian meal. Any local will tell you that Chianti wine was born to be paired with a juicy bistecca fiorentina (florentine steak) but my personal opinion is that you really can’t go wrong. Even if you don’t fancy yourself a wine drinker now, it would really be a sin not to indulge in the beauty that is Chianti, after all you’re on vacation right?