Chianti Classico is one of the oldest traditional wine-producing regions in Italy, located in the heart of Tuscany, between the cities of Florence and Siena. The Classico region is a sub-region of the broader Chianti region.

Chianti Classico wines must meet stricter regulations set by the Consorzio Chianti Classico. These regulations include minimum aging of 12 months with at least 3 months in the bottle and a minimum of 80% of Sangiovese grapes in each Classico bottle of wine.

Wines that meet these requirements are allowed to use the official Chianti Classico seal on their labels, which is a black rooster (known as “Gallo Nero” in Italian) on a white or yellow background.

The seal originates from a historical story from the middle ages that relates to a dispute between Sienna and Florence over land boundaries, which included the Chianti region.

A black rooster on a white background with in a circular burgundy coloured ring with the text CHAINTI CLASSICO DAL 1716 in white written in the border.

To settle the dispute amicably, both cities agreed to a horse race, at dawn on the crowing of the rooster both riders would leave the cities and where they met the border would be drawn and agreed.

The city of Siena choose a white rooster and the Florentines choose a black rooster, but being somewhat devious they starved their rooster for several days before the race.

On the morning of the race the black rooster crowed much earlier than dawn allowing the Florentine rider to get a head start in the race and the subsequent border was drawn much closer to Sienna and the Florentines got to control most of the Chianti region.

The black rooster became a symbol of Florence's victory in this legendary race and subsequently became associated with the Chianti region and now is the seal on Classico wines.

The Col di Vento Chianti Classico reflects a real sense of place and the traditions from this unique wine region in Italy.

February 15, 2024 — Michael McDonnell

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