The Province of Chianti

 

The Regioni of Tuscany has ten provinces, one of the largest being Chianti.  This province starts just south of Firenze, and undulates for 100 kilometers over steep sided hills, planted in vineyards and olive groves.  Nearly all of its towns are centuries old, and its history is crowded with invaders who not only captured the territory, but who lived there because they liked it.  

Not a whole lot has changed here.  Most of the roads still twist over the same paths laid out centuries ago.  The vineyards and olive groves have been in the same families for generations.  New construction is viewed with much skepticism, and architects must meet strict standards to conform to the environs.  The industry in the province, some of it high tech, is carefully housed in buildings which make it unobtrusive.  

There are about 2,000 producers of the famous Chianti wine in this region, a wine made primarily from four grapes, Sangiovese (75-100%), Canaiolo (up to 10%), Trebbiano and Malvasia (up to 10%).  The Chianti name has been widely pirated, and the Chianti Consortium has been cracking down on fakes.  A bottle labeled, DOCG certifies that the wine comes from the Province of Chianti and meets the proscribed standard.

We spent a day with Leonardo and Ercilia in this enchanting province, and although we got only a taste of Chianti, literally, we left knowing that there was much more that needed to be seen.

 

Chianti vineyards and olive groves.   

 

Chianti vineyard.

The Sangiovese grape. Its wine has big body and a slight tannic overtone.

Country road.

A window.

Chianti valley.

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