Learn About Chianti Classico
Chianti Classico, DOCG
The world’s first officially defined wine producing region was created in 1716 when Cosimo III de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, established the Chianti zone between the cities of Florence and Siena. Antonio Antinori, an ancestor of Piero Antinori, was appointed by Cosimo III to guide the historic 1716 Commission that defined the boundaries of Chianti Classico. In 1984 the current Chianti Classico DOCG zone was created, with boundaries roughly the same as the original or “classico” Chianti edict of 1716.
Although small in size, the region has a wide variety of microclimates created by varying altitudes, soil types, and climate. Tuscany’s summers are hot and dry, while winters can be bitterly cold, sending vine roots deep into the soil. This harsh and diverse environment creates a fabulous palette for skilled Antinori winemakers.
The Soul of Chianti Classico
The Sangiovese grape, which forms the foundation of all Chianti Classico wines, is strongly influenced by terroir.
Tuscany is the perfect home for Sangiovese, and the quality and variability of the Sangiovese fruit grown in the region enable skilled Antinori winemakers to produce a stunning variety of Chianti Classico wines.
To recieve the prestigious Chianti Classico DOCG designation, the grapes must be grown in a strictly defined area of the Tuscan hills. The wines must contain 80% to 100% of Sangiovese and up to 20% of other approved red grape varieties. "Annata" or vintage Chianti Classico wines are aged for a minimum of 1 year, whereas Riserva wines must be aged for at least 2 years. Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, the pinnacle of the Chianti Classico quality pyramid, are aged for at least 30 months and the grapes must be sourced strictly from proprietary vineyards. The Antinori family produces four Chianti Classico DOCG wines: Pèppoli, a vintage Chianti Classico, Villa Antinori and Marchese Antinori, both Chianti Classico Riserva and Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione.
Even with these strict geographic boundaries and production rules, the variability of the Sangiovese grape, the diverse Tuscan terroir, and the skill of the winemaker influence the character of the final wine. The Antinori collection expresses the breadth of Chianti Classico DOCG wines. Taste them all, and experience the stylistic differences.