Chianti Classico is probably the most famous Italian Wine abroad and among the best wines from Tuscany. The Chianti is also mentioned in movies such as the Silence of Innocents, Hannibal Lectere and Sherlock Holmes.
The wine with the denomination Chianti Classico is the wine produced in the original Area (Castellina, Radda and Gaiole in Chianti). The Chianti Area is between Florence and Siena and is divided in 7 subregions. The area is nowadays invaded by tourists and foreigners and is also funnily called Chiantiland or Chiantishire.
In 1716, Cosimo III of the Medici family, wrote a regulation describing the areas of Productions and how to protect the wine from frauds. In a certain way he introduced the modern concept of DOC or AOC regulations.
In the 18th century many producers mixed the Sangiovese grapes with white grapes such as Trebbiano and Malvasia. It was also quite common to use 10% of dried grapes to give a little sweet taste. Today many Chianti abroad are nothing special, they are just industrial wines without personality.
To recognize a bottle of good Chianti, you look for the Chianti Classico and the seal of the black roaster.
Here you can read the legend of the black Roaster:
Once upon a time Florence and Siena decided to trace their borders with the knights. The knights had to leave their cities at sunrise when the Roaster sang. The border between Florence and Siena, should have been signed exactly in the place where they met. In this way also the Chianti Area was assigned to one or to the other city.
The people from Florence chose a black roaster whereas the people from Siena chose a white roaster. The Florentine people didn’t give food to the roaster and let it sleep early. The people from Siena gave to the white roaster a lot of food.
When the white roaster from Siena woke up it was late because he had a lot of food. The knight left Siena late and met the knight from Florence just outside the walls of Siena. The area of Chianti in fact is still nowadays in the province of Florence. This is the legendary story of the Black Roaster.