Chianti Wine and its Origins By Scott Perlov

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A red wine produced in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy, Chianti first received recognition as a wine type in the 13th century. A wine-area for Chianti was first formally defined in 1716, which was shifted and redefined in 1932. Technically speaking, a wine is only a Chianti if produced within the defined Chianti area boundaries, but wineries in other areas still market their wines using the name “Chianti”. Chianti originally came in a short, wide bottle tied into a small basket called a fiasco, or “flask.” Although it is now generally sold in a more conventional bottle, some wineries still use the fiasco as a tourist novelty.

fiasco di chianti // monteriggioni

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Chianti was actually a type of white wine during its early history. In the mid-19th century, Baron Bettino Ricasoli developed an enduring recipe comprising 70 percent Sangiovese, a red grape, along with 15 percent Malvasia Bianca and 15 percent Canaiolo. Red wines generally contained up to 30 percent white grapes until the 1960s and 70s. As of 1995, Chianti containing 100 percent Sangiovese grapes became acceptable in the wine market. A wine must now contain at least 80 percent Sangiovese to be considered a Chianti.

Grapes on the vine (close-up)
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About Scott Perlov: A self-described Chianti enthusiast, Mr. Perlov’s hobbies include growing grapes and selling wine as a vintner. Scott Perlov currently practices law in Colorado.