Friday, April 24, 2009
The History of Chianti in Florence
Created in the ripe Tuscan countryside since the 14th century and defined as a wine-producing area in 1716, Chianti and Chianti wine is one of Italy’s most favourite products. All apartments in Florence deem it necessary to have at least a couple of bottles of Chianti, their home-grown produce.
The Chianti area now incorporates about 65 square miles between Florence and Siena, which has grown and added new territories since its first days of wine-making.
The original Etruscan family of Clante settled in the area in the 7th and 8th centuries, and the wine-making activity is said to be attributed to them.
Always enamoured for its fertile valleys and natural beauty, the Chianti region mixes woods of oak and chesnut with olive groves, villages, vineyards and many little rivers.
In the 14th century, a dispute over land ownership was settled as two young nobles from the rivalry cities, Guelph Florence and Ghibelline Siena, had a race to cover land and claim it. According to the story, the race was to start at the first cock of the crow in each city. Florence had kept a black rooster without food, so that it would crow earlier in the morning and this led to Florence gaining more of the Chianti territory. The image of this black rooster is still used today as the seal on the Chianti wine bottle.
Striving to protect the Chianti wine production and its hugely popular culture in more modern times, there have been several societies established, to allow for the correct ecological management of the region around Florence, and the organisation of the tourist flow within the Chianti area. The seal of this community is marked by the ever-faithful Chianti rooster.
When in Florence, be sure to relax with a glass of Chianti and savour the city’s great past.