History and Origins of Chianti – Part II
CHIANTI BETWEEN YESTERDAY AND NOW
In the first part of our story we have revealed the first secrets about Chianti Wine: its different geographical areas, why they are using the Black Rooster logo and who was Chianti’s inventor.
And so, in 1872, the Baron Bettino Ricasoli writes the final Chianti’s recipe.
1872: CHIANTI IS BORN
After many studies and experiments, in 1872 Bettino Ricasoli finds the right composition about Chianti Wine: 70% for Sangiovese grapes and the last 30% divided between Canaiolo grapes and Malvasia white grapes, and sometimes using also Trebbiano white grapes. The white grapes make a shiny and intense wine with a sweet taste.
“… Mi confermai nei risultati ottenuti già nelle prime esperienze cioè che il vino riceve dal Sangioveto la dose principale del suo profumo (a cui io miro particolarmente) e una certa vigoria di sensazione; da Canajuolo l’amabilità che tempera la durezza del primo, senza togliergli nulla del suo profumo per esserne pur esso dotato; la Malvagia, tende a diluire il prodotto delle due prime uve, ne accresce il sapore e lo rende più leggero e più prontamente adoperabile all’uso della tavola quotidiana …”
Bettino Ricasoli, 1872
To prof. Cesare Studiati of Pisa University
So, if we want to make Chianti Wine, we have to be in Chianti Region and we have to follow the Chianti’s recipe.
In the past, the old recipe by Bettino Ricasoli was with only tuscan grapes.
Today, the recipe is a little bit changed whether in percentages, because we have to use no more 70% but 80% for Sangiovese grapes, or in kinds of grapes, beacuse about the last 20% every winery can choose which grapes to use. So, it is possible to find Chianti Wine 100% Sangiovese grapes, or Chianti Wine with international varieties like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.
The rules for the production of Chianti Classico Wine provide for a minimum ratio of 80% for Sangiovese and of 20% for other red grapes of the area.
It exists three typologies of Chianti Classico, depending on different chemical and organoleptic parameters.
– Chianti Classico Annata: it represents the base of the pyramid; it is a wine without specifics rules about times of ageing in tanks or in bottles.
– Chianti Classico Riserva: higher-quality wine; it needs minimum 24 months of ageing, including 3 months in bottle.
– Chianti Classico Gran Selezione: it represents the top of the pyramid; it is a wine that comes from a selection of the best grapes with minimum 30 months of ageing, including 3 months in bottle, following stricter technical and sensory parameters.
CHIANTI WINE AT ‘POGGIO AL BOSCO’
Here at ‘Poggio al Bosco’ we prefer to obtain only genuine products bounded to history and tradition of our territory. We are in the area called Chianti Florentine Hills, so we can use white grapes also, not only the red ones.
So, we have decided to follow the Bettino Ricasoli’s old recipe: 80% for Sangiovese grapes, 5% for Malvasia grapes, 5% for Trebbiano grapes, 5% for Colorino grapes and 5% for Canaiolo grapes.
Because as Lorisse says, “today we are not cleverer than our ancestors!”
The final result is a strong and powerful Chianti Wine DOCG, ruby red in colour with violet shades and a soft and pleasant taste. Ideal for meat, pasta or chease.
Spicy tastes and an intense aroma belong to our Chianti Riserva DOCG. It is realized only in our best years and it has a longer time of ageing in concrete tanks and then in bottle. Ideal for steak, grilled meat or aged chease.