Chianti

A Wine to defend and protect : the Rules


There have already been some rules since 1444 which were given by the organistation of the “Lega del Chianti” to defend the good name and quality of this wine. But it took the Grand Duke Cosimo III who confronted the problem in organic manner with a proclamation of 1716: there were fixed the terms of production and sales, but there was also a safeguard of the denomination establishing the confines of the territory of the various productions and imposing heavy sanctions against the cases of imitation and clandestine traffic. A proclamation that was in advance of the times and was a guarantee for the consumer.
Fundamentaly there was under this aspect the action of the Baron Ricasoli who elaborated a true and proper code of Chianti, a wine that - as was written in 1870 by Professor Studiati of Pisa - «receives from Sangioveto the principal dose of its perfume....and a certain vigor of sensation, from Canaiolo the amiableness that tempers the harshness of the first, without taking away anything of its perfume that was given; the Malvagia, of which may do less for the wines destined to be aged, and tends to dilute the product of the first two grapes, it auments the taste and makes it lighter and easily adapted for daily use». Other than indicating the grapes, the Ricasoli Code gives rules for the labour establishing that the grape stalks must be separated from the residue, the vats for the fermentation must be closed, the rapid drawing off and successively “squeezing the residue, and the wine that comes out is first put into barrels, in which continues the fermentation.”
In 1878 using the rules of Baron Bettino Ricasoli, Chianti wine was triumphant in the Paris Exhibition.