Differentiating Chianti and Chianti Classico Wines

For most people who consume Italian wines, the common mistake that is committed is not differentiating a DOCG ‘Chianti wine’ from a DOCG ‘Chianti Classico wine’.

First of all, ‘Chianti Classico wine’ varieties are produced from Chianti wine regions. The first mark you should look for a ‘Chianti Classico wine’ is the black rooster logo found at the bottle neck. The ‘Chianti Classico wine’ and ‘Chianti wine’ makers have different sets of standards for wine making. The former has more rigorous rules that wine makers should strictly enforce.

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Below are more of the differences between a Chianti wine and a Chianti Classico wine:

The production area for ‘Chianti Classico wine’ is limited only within the area of Chianti Classico region. Conversely, ‘Chianti wine’ areas are very wide. These could extend in different Tuscany regions – Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Pisa, Pistoia and Prato.

The grape varieties used for these wines are also respectively different. Any ‘Chianti Classico wine’ is manufactured from 80% Sangiovese red grape variety. On the other hand, any ‘Chianti wine’ could be produced from 75% Sangiovese grapes for reds, and Malvasia and Trebbiano white grape varieties for whites.

As aforementioned, the quality standards for these wines are divergent from one another. The Chianti Classico Consortium only allows seventy five quintals as the maximum amount of grapes per hectare. Chianti wine regions could reach up to ninety quintals.

Into deeper understanding the regulations for Chianti and Chianti Classico wine production, the initial DOCG classifications were started in 1984. ‘Chianti Classico wine’ production was then a subordinate grouping of the ‘Chianti wine’ production as. After over a decade, around 1996, Chianti Classico wine makers had devised stricter rules in growing grapes and wine making. ‘Chianti Classico wine’ became a distinct label from the autonomous governance of wine production.
Reiterating the black rooster emblem, it once belonged to the Lega del Chianti in the 17th century for the general classification of all wines produced from Chianti regions. But since 2005, the black rooster has been the Chianti Classico trademark. This trademark ensures wine consumers that particular ‘Chianti Classico wine’ has passed the Chianti Classico Consortium standard of high quality.

Moreover, the Chianti Classico Consortium precisely abides by the rules of maintaining high quality in their wines. This is to make any ‘Chianti Classico wine’ a fit contender against other high quality wines. The Consortium also protects the survival of Gallo Nero wines being one of the finest Chianti Classico wines.

Meanwhile, these two wine varieties are not the only Tuscan wines. Other Sangiovese-based wines include Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano, Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino.


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