Labelling changes on the way for Chianti Classico

22 Jul 2021


One of Tuscany’s biggest wine regions has committed to only using Italian grape varieties in its top wines and these wines will come with specific designation on the labels.

The assembly of the Consorzio Chianti Classico voted earlier this month to stiffen the rules of wines in the Gran Selezione category. Wines in this elite category must now contain 90% Sangiovese, with the remaining grape varieties being traditional to the region.

“[The assembly is] increasingly aware that the territory makes the difference and that we had to reinforce the relationship between the wine and the specific piece of land giving birth to it. Quality is not only satisfaction for the palate but also uniqueness,” said Consorzio President Giovanni Manetti.

Chianti Classico’s producers have long debated whether it is better to offer straightforward labelling or highlight the historic region’s distinct terroirs. The recent “Additional Geographical Units” (UGA) decision certainly supports highlighting the region.

The UGAs will begin by only appearing on the labels of Gran Selezione bottles, the region’s highest-quality wines, representing about 5 percent of the wines produced each vintage. The goal is to extend the concept down the road.

“We planned to start with the Gran Selezione because it has to be integralmente prodotto e imbottigliato (estate grown and bottled) and also because it is the category with higher positioning in the market,” said Manetti.

The other approved proposal eliminates the use of international grape varieties in any blend of Gran Selezione. It also increases the proportion of Sangiovese to a minimum of 90 percent, while the requirement for estate-grown grapes remains unchanged.