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This book tells the story of the ancient land named Chianti and the modern wine appellation known as Chianti Classico. In 1716, Tuscany’s penultimate Medici ruler, Cosimo III, anointed the region of Chianti, along with three smaller areas in the Florentine State, as the world’s first legal appellations of origin for wine. In the succeeding centuries, this milestone was all but forgotten. By the late nineteenth century, the name Chianti, rather than signifying this historic region and its celebrated wine, identified a simple Italian red table wine in a straw-covered flask.
In the twenty-first century, Chianti Classico emerged as one of Italy’s most dynamic and fashionable wine zones. Chianti Classico relates the fascinating evolution of Chianti as a wine region and reveals its geographic and cultural complexity. Bill Nesto, MW, and Frances Di Savino explore the townships of Chianti Classico and introduce readers to the modern-day winegrowers who are helping to transform the region. The secrets of Sangiovese, the principal vine variety of Chianti, are also revealed as the book unlocks the myths and mysteries of one of Italy’s most storied wine regions. The publication of Chianti Classico coincides with the three hundredth anniversary of the Medici decree delimiting the region of Chianti on September 24, 1716.
Bill Nesto is a Master of Wine and a founder of the Wine Studies Program at Boston University, where he is also a Senior Lecturer.
Frances Di Savino is an attorney with a background in medieval and Renaissance studies and is Bill’s partner in life and on the wine road. Bill and Frances coauthored The World of Sicilian Wine, which won the André Simon Book Award in 2013.
“‘A profound desire to find the truth’ about Chianti Classico. . . . Offers a deep dive into the history, viticulture, and enology of Chianti Classico, the wine region and appellation situated snugly between Florence and Siena, distinct from the surrounding production zone simply called Chianti.”—The Boston Globe
"Everything you always wanted to know about Chianti Classico (and lots more!) . . . . Does Chianti Classico live up to my high expectations for it? Yes! A great book for anyone who loves Chianti or Tuscany or … wine!”—The Wine Economist
“Following their excellent Sicily book, Bill Nesto and Frances di Savino have tackled Chianti, one of the most fascinating, ancient, and traduced production areas in the world of wine, with their characteristic forensic thoroughness and enthusiasm. You will find you are reading not just about a wine but about a large chunk of Italian social and economic history over a period of centuries, including, most importantly, the present one, which, like every present, is the product of its past.”—Nicolas Belfrage, MW, author of The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy