The wine growing areas known as Chianti were first defined in 1716 and included the villages of Gaiole, Castellina and Radda. Today the original Chianti area is just a small part of the Classico area and the overall wine growing region is huge.
Chianti has grown to keep up with demand and modern wine producing methods, but the Red Wine we know as Chianti today is still one of the finest and most popular wines worldwide.
A good Chianti should have a clear, dark ruby colour with reddish, orange glints. The aroma puts you in mind of ripe cherries and spices and the flavour is of red fruit, slightly tart, shaped by a healthy hint of tannic astringency.
It may well sound a clichĂ© to recommend Chianti with Pizza, tomato sauced pastas and meat dishes, but that is because it works so well; the richer the food, the better to bring out the fruity tartness of this classic wine.
The Chianti area is home to a variety of agricultural activities and along with the growing of grapes is olive oil production. The extra virgin olive oil produced in this area of Tuscany is highly prized for its delicate and subtle flavour as that opposed to the stronger and thicker oils of the south. The richness of the land is also a contributing factor to the quality of the meat produced in Tuscany. Truffles both black and white are to be found in the Tuscan countryside and are a marvellous, albeit, decadent accompaniment to Chianti wines.
Some of the restaurants of the area have wild game on their menus and the countryside around Tuscany is rich in rabbit, pigeon, venison and the fantastic wild boar (Cinghiale).
The Chianti area of Tuscany has evolved as a centre of gastronomic excellence and the wines of Chianti are renowned throughout the world. Chianti is not a Â“snobbishÂ” wine and should be enjoyed with a wide variety of foods, from cheeses to roast meats and pasta dishes, but most of all enjoyed with friends and with gusto!