Sangiovese, from which Chianti is made, is one of Italy’s most prominent red grapes and thrives here under the Tuscan sun.
Where is it?
What are the main grapes grown?
This is predominantly red-wine country, with Sangiovese being by far the most grown grape. Sangiovese grapes thrive in long, warm summers, prefer sun-drenched high-ish altitudes, but don't appreciate too much heat. It produces wines which are typically high in both tannins and acidity. A small proportion of white grapes are grown.
This is predominantly red-wine country.
What is distinctive about it?
Unforgettable, undulating landscapes dotted with cypresses and pines; olive groves – and vineyards.
Chianti was first mentioned as a wine in 1398.
Wine forms part of the region’s ancient history.
How do you spot a good bottle?
Within the Italian classification system, Tuscany has 11 DOCGs (the highest rank), of which Brunello di Montalcino is perhaps the king. Chianti from certain sub-regions has the same classification.
The region has also become famous for the Super Tuscans (notably in Bolgheri) which tend to incorporate French grapes.
What are its classic dishes?
Papa al pomodoro (tomato soup) – the perfect match with Sangiovese, as is any tomato-based dish; along with bistecca, lardo, and crostini topped with duck liver paste.
Imagine yourself there...
Order in a pizza, open a bottle of Chianti, load up Stealing Beauty, and settle in for the evening.