Chianti Classico DOCG

Date of birth

1716: the borders of the production zone are delimited

Place of birth

The territory lying between the provinces of Florence and Siena that covers the municipalities of Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti and Radda in Chianti and parts of the municipalities of Barberino Val d’Elsa, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Poggibonsi, San

Casciano Val di Pesa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa

Total area of the territory

70,000 ha / 172,900 a

Total vineyard area

10,000 ha / 25,000 a

Vineyards registered as Chianti Classico

7,200 ha / 18,000 a

Grapes permitted by production regulations

Sangiovese: from a minimum of 80% to a maximum of 100% Other permitted red grapes (indigenous or international): maximum 20%

Average annual bottle output

35/38 million (last 10 years)

Average annual output

270,000 hl / 7,135,000 gal (last 10 years)

Chianti Classico members

523 of which bottlers 315


Exported to 130 countries


The Chianti area is mainly covered with woodlands, principally oak, chestnut, and pine as well as cypress,  situated on a plateau at altitudes between 200 and 800 meters. The highest altitude for growing grapes for Chianti Classico wine is 700 meters a.s.l. The local climate is continental with significant day-night temperature variation, generally low winter temperatures – below 4-5°C – and hot, dry summers, often reaching temperatures of over 35°C.
Geologically the land is a shield of clayey schists (marl), with layers of scaly clay,

alberese and fine limestone sandstone.
The dark brown soil tends not to be deep, with structures ranging from clayey-sand to stony with average clay content. The type of land varies considerably from one area to another, making it impossible to make a clear subdivision of the various soil types typical of Chianti. But it can also be said that marl- based soil is widespread in the San Casciano in Val di Pesa, while Greve in Chianti and all the lower altitude areas have typically clayey limestone soil; large sandstone rocks characterize the Monti del Chianti ridge; alberese is the principal

element of the central-southern area, and tuff stone rock is found inmost of Castelnuovo Berardenga area. The areas with a marked sandstone presence are severe and steep while the limestone hills are softer and rounder, and the clayey hills are even gentler. Almost all the Chianti Classico production area, though, has soil rich in stony material, especially marl.
Two-thirds of the whole area is covered with woods. Oak trees are present everywhere while chestnuts are found mainly in the eastern area, conifers in the higher altitudes and pine woods in the lower hills south of Florence.


There has always been an idiomatic-geographic confusion between two different DOCGs: Chianti Classico and Chianti. While in the enological field there are two separate terms, “Chianti Classico” and “Chianti,” from the historical-geographical standpoint there is only the term “Chianti”.
For consumers, but even for wine insiders, the borderline between these two contexts is so unclear that the adjective “Classico” is often omitted in describing a Chianti Classico in tastings, comments and articles. In fact, that adjective is very important, because it distinguishes Chianti Classico from Chianti wine. They are two distinct and separate  DOCGs, with two different sets of production regulations, production zones and consortiums for the protection of the product.

Chianti: the name of a territory delimited in 1716 that today covers 9 municipalities under the provinces of Florence and Siena.

Chianti: the name of a wine made in Tuscany but not in the geographical zone called “Chianti”.

Chianti Classico: the name of the wine made in the geo- graphical zone called “Chianti”. Only this wine is entitled    to be identified with the historic Black Rooster symbol.


In 2013 the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico members’ assembly approved important changes to the production regulations leading to a reorganization of the Black Rooster DOCG, and added another typology, Gran Selezione, on top of the traditional two, Annata and Riserva.

It’s the first that Italian wine legislation has permitted introduction of a new typology of wine at the summit of a denomination’s quality pyramid. Nowadays the production of Gran Selezione accounts for about 4% of the Chianti Classico production. Gran Selezione is made exclusively from a winery’s own grapes grown in its finest vineyards according to strict regulations that make it a truly premium wine, a new point of reference on the world wine scene.

Gran Selezione is also able to enhance the different characteristics of a broad and variegated territory divided into nine municipalities and different climatic and soil zones but united by the unmistakable Sangiovese “signature”. From the organ-oleptic viewpoint Gran Selezione has a great structure that, thanks to grape selection and long refinement, gives superior balance and harmony, depth of flavor and aromatic complexity. On the palate it combines immediacy of fruit with the fas-cinating nuances typical of wines that take long to evolve.


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