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Chianti Classico is three hundred years old

Chianti Classico is three hundred years old

With the Chianti Classico Collection 2016 the Consortium of the Black Rooster has officially opened the celebrations for the 300 years of Chianti Classico. In fact the delimitation of the winemaking region (Carmignano, Chianti, Pomino and Valdarno Superiore) dates back to 1716 when Grand Duke Cosimo III de’Medici wanted to safeguard the best production in this area. The three-century Anniversary-Preview was held from 15th to 16th February, at the former Leopolda Station in Florence, and called “1716-2016, 300 years of the first wine region”: 165 wineries with 587 wines to taste (read our tasting notes). There were also previews from barrels of the 2015 vintage, other wines from different previous vintages (until the 2008) and also the Riserva and Gran Selezione versions.

A year of celebrations

To celebrate the three-hundredth anniversary, culminating on 24th September, the date the edict was signed in 1716, the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium has drawn up a calendar of appointments spreading from April to October, and ranging from music to sport (including the individual time trial of the Giro d’Italia on 15th May, between Radda and Greve), art and food. The Chianti Classico Collection 2016 opened at the Leopolda Station in Florence with a very crowded press conference-debate that the president and director of the Consortium, Sergio Zingarelli and Giuseppe Liberatore, shared with some representatives of the families that have made the history of Chianti Classico: Piero Antinori, Francesco Ricasoli, Orsola Beccari and Niccolò Capponi.

The 1716 DOC before its time

The document that ratified the delimitation of the Chianti wine region in 1716 was an important event for the area. That edict issued by the Grand Duke was a milestone in the history of Tuscan winemaking, since it gave some kind of order to the anarchy of production that was reflected in the quality of the wine in that period. In this way Grand Duke Cosimo III established precise areas within which wines had to be produced in order to obtain the corresponding Designation, it was basically a true DOC before its time.

2015 exports and markets of the Black Roosterchianti-classico-collection-2016

Zingarelli revealed the positive statistics recorded in 2015 for sales of the Black Rooster, which rose by 8% compared to 2014, thanks to exports (at 80%), but also due to the recovery of the domestic market (+2%). “Since 2009, the darkest year of the crisis, to today,” he said, “growth has been 48%. I would also like to underline the success of the Gran Selezione, launched two years ago under a little scepticism, but claimed today by over 100 wineries compared to the original 25.”

Chianti nominated UNESCO World Heritage Site

At the end of the first day, a real “cherry on the cake”: the consortium announced the start of the nomination process of the Chianti production area to the prestigious list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The borders of the geographical area involved, coincide with those of the Chianti Classico wine production area. The nomination project will be centred on the development of the cultural, historic and landscape resources of the Chianti area, whose wine-production component is the most important result. The project was promoted by the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium and will be followed by the Fondazione per la Tutela del Territorio (Foundation for the Protection of the Territory). For the president, Sergio Zingarelli, “the insertion of Chianti on the prestigious list of World Heritage Sites will give the area and its wine and tourism products a substantial added value, in terms of international prestige and fame.”

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