Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico
Chianti Classico is simultaneously one of Italy's most historic wine regions, yet also among its most progressive. The wines of Chianti Classico today have evolved substantially in the last few decades, the result of in-depth mapping of terroir, genetic studies of Sangiovese, and a built-in biodiversity that has eased some of the burdens of climate change.
Appellations cannot achieve such heights without a strong, dedicated and collaborative consortium leading the way. The Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico is the oldest consortium of winegrowers in Italy, with its signature black rooster emblem differentiating its members' bottles from any other Chianti or Sangiovese-based wine since 1924. But the roots of the organization go back even further, to 1716 when Cosimo III de' Medici codified the territory and its wines for legal protection.
Today, the Consorzio is a tremendous asset for wine writers such as myself. They have helped coordinate visits and travel across the region, sponsored my attendance at stateside events, and they now count themselves as the first consortium in Europe to have a Professional Subscription to Opening a Bottle. But most importantly, it is about the wines. For an appellation that is focused on the primacy of one grape from a singular region, it is incredible how much variety — and yet, "typicity" — the wines of Chianti Classico demonstrate bottle after bottle.