Italy TravelChianti Classico Celebrates 300th Anniversary

Chianti Classico Celebrates 300th Anniversary
Published on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 by

This year, Chianti Classico, the picturesque heart of Tuscany that is home to Italy’s most famous wine, is celebrating its 300th anniversary of delivering high-quality wines to Italy and beyond.

On Sept. 24, 1716, the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de’ Medici created official borders of the Chianti wine region, establishing quality control teams in the area and ensuring that only wine from within the region’s boundaries could be called “Chianti.” A predecessor to what would become the modern Denominazione d’Origine Controllata (DOC) and DOCG wine labeling system, the Grand Duke’s act was the first of its kind in Europe. Though Chianti Classico wasn’t declared an official subregion until 1932, the area produced the original Chianti wine and is what the Grand Duke had in mind when he established the region.

Chianti Classico, a subregion of the region of Chianti, is a Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) region, the highest and most stringent status awarded to an Italian wine-producing region and the official guarantee of the wine’s origin. Wines labeled “Chianti Classico” are produced in their namesake subregion, while wines simply called “Chianti” are produced anywhere in the region of Chianti (but outside of Chianti Classico). Chianti Classico itself is divided into nine subzones, including Radda in Chianti and San Casciano Val di Pesa.

As if a tercentennial birthday isn’t cause enough for celebration, in 2015 Chianti Classico produced 292,000 hL of wine and saw an 8% increase in revenue. The U.S. is Chianti Classico’s biggest export market, at 31%, while Italians consume about 20% of the wine’s share.

The Chianti Classico Consortium designed a new logo for the wines and has planned several events throughout 2016 to celebrate, including wine tastings and festivals. In May, Chianti Classico hosted a stage of the Giro d’Italia, and more cycling events are planned for the coming months.


By Kathy McCabe

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