Who doesn't know the most popular red wine in Italy? Chianti belongs to the image of Italy like chocolate to Switzerland, the wines from Tuscany are the epitome of Italianità around the globe. Although famous, the reputation of Chianti Classico is unfortunately not always the best, many of the wines disappear in large mass bottlings.
The association of Chianti Classico producers, the Consorzio Gallo Nero, recognized the need for action and set about creating a new quality classification. For three years, those responsible had worked on a concept and introduced a three-tier model. Since then, the Gran Selezione designation has been at the top of the quality list. It is intended to bring radiant splendor to the famous growing region between Florence and Siena. Only wines from the best vineyards of a winery and according to strict rules and even stricter controls may bear this predicate. For example, the wines must remain in the cellar for at least 30 months, the minimum extract values are 26 grams per liter and the assignment of vineyards to the various categories is done before production.
The differences with the next level, Riserva, are minimal in these criteria. Here the storage period before sale is 24 months and the extract values are 25 grams per liter.
The base wine Chianti Classico, the main part of the production, is called Annata, vintage wine, and makes up the lowest level.
For all categories, the rule is that the wines must be made from 80 percent Sangiovese grapes. So far, so good. The most striking feature in the new certification is thus the selection of the best vineyards.