Chianti Classico Wines and Grapes of Tuscany, Italy

A great wine, a great vacation destination:
Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy.

Chianti Classico Wines and Grapes

A wine vacation in Chianti - why not? Well, if you're an oenophile, wine will very likely be one of many enjoyable aspects of your vacation in Tuscany, especially Chianti. While the art cities of Florence, Sienna, Lucca and Pisa will demand concentrated attention, be sure to take some time off and explore the Tuscan countryside, including the vineyards of Chianti, Montalcino and Montepulciano.

In all three of these wine districts, the dominating grape is sangiovese - not named after a saint called "San Giovese" as some might think, but meaning "blood of Jupiter" or "blood of Jove", because of its characteristic colour. Most Chianti Classico wines are 100% sangiovese while the remainder are blends containing 10 to 30% cabernet sauvignon or merlot, usually, but also cabernet franc and other introduced grape varietals. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino are also both made from sangiovese grapes, albeit from a strain differing from that used in Chianti.

Tuscan wines are predominantly red with just a small amount of Vernaccia di San Gimignano accounting for most of the white wine. HOWEVER, over the past few years, an excellent rosť, known as a rosato, has made its appearance in Tuscany. These rosati are made from sangiovese grapes and retain the characteristic flavour of that grape but are light and refreshing - an ideal summer lunch wine. More about Tuscan rosato.

The best way to enjoy and appreciate a Chianti Classico wine is with a meal. They go well with all courses, the lighter wines usually matching pasta course and the more full bodies Chianti going well with main course, especially bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine grilled steak).

More about Chianti Classico wine.

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