Chianti is the result of a story that began more than 300 years ago in the heart of the Italian peninsula on the green Tuscan hills. Florence and Siena delimit the 70,000 hectares of production of one of the most appreciated wines in the world – Chianti Classico. Each glass produced with grapes from this area is a symbol of the tradition and love of those who have dedicated themselves to viticulture for centuries.
While sticking to its origins, the historic “Gallo Nero” seal – the Black Rooster – has been recently renewed in order to meet the modern market – which has become global and has increasingly specific and differentiated needs. Underlining the differences in the production process, enhancing the diversity of the Tuscan region and providing clarity for consumers are the main objectives of the new marketing proposal: the qualitative pyramid.
The Structure of the Pyramid
The Grand Selection pyramid is a simple and intuitive way to divide the production of Chianti Classico into 3 macro-categories. This wine stands out since it is made with high quantities of Sangiovese grapes – the undisputed queen of Tuscan vineyards. Moreover, it becomes nobler over the months, because its perfumes and aromas are enriched, but its quality is not compromised.
Starting from the base of the pyramid and going up to the top, the following three categories have been identified:
- Chianti Classico d’Annata: located at the base of the pyramid, this wine gets different chemical and organoleptic characteristics from year to year.
- Chianti Classico Riserva: the intermediate step is occupied by Riserva products, with an intense ruby colour and floral notes. The production of this wine requires a longer period of aging than vintage wines, specifically 24 months of which at least 3 in bottle.
- Chianti Classico Gran Selezione: the place of honor on the pyramid belongs to a fine, persistent and fruity wine, with hues of brick red. To obtain this label, the must must undergo a period of aging of at least 30 months of which, also in this case, at least 3 months in bottle. Since its introduction on the market in 2014, sales of the “Gallo Nero” par excellence have tripled: today more than 100 labels are produced by 88 wineries. Coming from a single vineyard or from a selection of the best grapes, the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is strictly controlled and tested to ensure chemical and organoleptic characteristics suitable for a product of such level.
A challenging decision
The decision to aim high and to include for the first time in the Italian wine legislation a name such as the Gran Selezione – Grand Selection – comes from the producers themselves. In order to enhance and defend Chianti Classico, they have chosen to go against the trends of the international market.
This initiative proved to be successful: in fact, Chianti Classico won numerous medals at the World Wine Awards of Decanter, the prestigious British magazine dedicated to wine. The awards, 5 of which went to the Chianti Grand Selection, are proof that the objectives set by the Consortium have been achieved, as Sergio Zingarelli, President of the Chianti Classico Consortium, says: “(….) we are working well everywhere and the average quality of the Gallo Nero wines has risen considerably: a goal that is recognised all over the world“.