The Chianti Classico area is a land of ancient winemaking traditions going back to the Etruscans and Romans. In medieval times, Chianti was a land of constant battles between the cities of Florence and Siena.
The wine born in this land is mentioned since 1200 in manuscripts, chronicles, historical documents. The first notarial document in which the name Chianti appears to refer to the wine produced in this area dates back to 1398. As early as the 1600s, exports to England were no longer occasional.
The Chianti Classico production area is the first in the world to have been defined by law, with a 1716 proclamation by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III. The announcement specified the boundaries of the areas within which Chianti wines could be produced and established a congregation to supervise production, shipment, control against fraud and the trade of wines (a sort of progenitor of the Consortium).
Until the 1700s, Chianti was produced using only Sangiovese grapes. The practice of mixing different grape varieties to improve the quality of the wine produced dates back to the early 1800s.
In that period, various blends experimented, but it was Baron Bettino Ricasoli, between 1834 and 1837, who popularized the composition he considered most suitable for obtaining a pleasant, sparkling and ready-to-drink red wine which would later become the basis of the official composition of Chianti wine: 70% Sangioveto (local denomination for Sangiovese), 15% Canaiolo, 15% Malvasia and the application of the government’s practice to the Tuscan use, which consists in taking a portion of the grapes, the healthier and more mature ones, better Sangiovese than Canaiolo, and then leave these grapes for six weeks, arranged on racks, out in the air so that they wither.
After being pressed, these grapes produce a must which, added to the wine that has just finished fermentation and has burned all the sugars, starts a second fermentation, which lasts until spring.
The typologies foreseen by the denomination are the Chianti Classico, the Chianti Classico Riserva and the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione. The ageing is of increasing duration, limited to one year for the basic type, 24 months for the reserve and 30 months for the Grand Selection.
When was the last time you had dinner in an Italian restaurant in Canada and you thought you were dining in Italy? That’s exactly how “Ospitalità Italiana Certified”restaurants want you to feel when you visit their fine dining establishments.
Ospitalità Italiana is an official certification from Unioncamere, Italy’s federation of local Chambers of Commerce and Industry, that tells you that the food you are enjoying is unquestionably Italian: products are authentic, ingredients genuine and recipes true to the thousand year history of Italian cuisine.
Canada is home to some leading Italian Chefs. Passionate and innovative, many have refined their skills and advanced their knowledge directly in Italy. In addition, Montréal boasts a fabulous cooking school ITHQ where young aspiring chefs learn Italian technic and Italian traditional recipes from the masters.
So the next time you make reservations for an Italian dinner in a Montreal restaurant, ask if they’ve received the Ospitalità Italiana seal of approval. You will enjoy the true Italian taste.