Territory - History

Chianti, the area in which Chianti Classico wine and oil has been produced for centuries, is that part of Tuscany that is bordered to the north by the suburbs of Florence, to the east by the Chianti Mountains, to the south by the city of Siena and to the west by the valleys of the Pesa and Elsa rivers. The area is traversed by the Superhighway of the Palio. It is a land of ancient traditions that was civilized in remote periods first by the Etruscans, who left many traces of their activity in the wine sector, and then by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, the cities of Florence and Siena battled for control over the zone. Villages and monasteries, castles and fortresses appeared during that period and many of them were later transformed into villas and country residences when times were more tranquil. It was then that spaces were cleared in the vast forests of chestnuts and oaks for the cultivation of vines and olive trees, an activity that progressively assumed major economic importance and established an international reputation.

The first notarial document in which the name Chianti appeared in reference to the wine produced in the zone dates to 1398 and in the 17th century exports to England became increasingly frequent. With the agrarian revival in Tuscany in the early 18th century, the sharecropper system came to dominate Chianti and the landscape was enriched because of the different way in which work was organized. Many of the farmhouses, as well as the physical layout of the properties, which has survived, date to that period. From the end of the 19th century to the threshold of the third millennium, Chianti Classico wine and oil have steadily reinforced its position in the affections of wine and oil lovers throughout the world and thereby assured the prosperity and well-being of the region.