- Published on Monday, 11 June 2012 10:23
- Written by Gemma McKenna
Chianti Classico is set for a major overhaul which will see the creation of a new icon level of wine above Riserva.
The Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico ratified measures to revamp the denomination; introducing new rules governing production, bulk wine and redesigning the bottle seal's distinctive black rooster logo.
Harpers reported that the Consorzio was meeting to discuss the issues back in May.
Outgoing president Marco Pallanti said: "I end my term with great results. An overhaul aimed at re-launching this prestigious denomination, definitely veered towards great quality".
The changes to production regulations were proposed to the assembly after more than two years' work by the consortium's board of directors and consultants.
- The changes include adding a new top level to the denomination, which currently includes vintage and reserve standards. This new icon Chianti Classico, which will have a new name to be finalised in the coming months, will exclusively denote the Chianti Classico wines made from grapes grown on the vineyards' own land. This means grapes bought in from elsewhere or wines made elsewhere will not qualify.
- The new top level wine can only be sold after 30 months from harvesting, and it must spend three months in bottle (as for Riserva).
- Even the Riserva, which accounts for 30% of the amount produced and 40% of the region's value, is being revamped. While the maturation period remains unchanged, winemakers must declare the vintage and category when applying for certification. This would mean producers would have to make a decision early in the production stage about which grapes are destined for which wines.
- Black Rooster restyling: the neckband trademark that has represented the denomination since 2005 will be redesigned, and will move from the governmental seal to the neck of the bottle.
"I'm pleased to have finished my term as president with this important result", said Pallanti, "I've been working with the board for a long time to find the biggest consensus from members about these changes.
"Endeavours aimed at having the consumer perceive the higher quality that our wines have achieved in recent years, enabling us to face future challenges with a set of regulations able to make Chianti Classico stronger with regard to growing international competition. Even the assembly's ruling on bulk wine, which now has to be certified before being marketed, should be interpreted from this standpoint.
Barone Francesco Ricasoli, owner of the Ricasoli estate in the region has been working with the board on drawing up these rules.
He told Harpers: "It will take some time in order to make them applicable and some minor changes are going to be made during the final stages. Nevertheless I'm glad that a wine such as our Castello di Brolio will be now ‘inscribed' among those top wines of the new category of the appellation. For all these years it has sometimes been hard for me to explain that Castello di Brolio was much more than a Riserva."