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There’s a New Generation in Chianti Classico
After Carmignano, my next stop on the Tuscan trail last month was Chianti Classico. I mean is there a great wine that is more Italian?
What else are you going to drink with Lasagna or Eggplant Parmigiana or so many other good old fashioned Italian dishes?
My idea was to check out some great NewGen producers who’ve launched their wineries (from family lands) in the last 10 or 20 years — babies in the wine world.
Aside from taking organic approaches, these NewGen producers love Sangiovese, and typically make their Chianti Classicos from either 100% San-Joe or blend with local grapes like Colorino and Canaiolo. Unlike their parents’ generation, what they don’t do is blend it with international varieties like Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah that were allowed in Chianti since the 1980s.
My first stop was Radda in Chianti with its steep vineyard slopes, thick hillside forests, and piercingly long and mineral taut wines.
I stayed at the gorgeous hilltop Castello di Volpaia — a village and about 900 acres owned by the winemaking Stianti family. Volpaia literally means fox’s lair. And I was the only one there—as the area was still in Covid slumber. My room was a mere 16 degrees Centigrade (60F) when I checked in, and there was no place open for dinner. But the beauty and stillness of the place made up for it. At breakfast one morning an unhurried fox did stroll by outside.
In fact, seeing Tuscany without tourists made me fall in love with the place all over — as I have again and again for the last 35 years.
The next day I headed over to meet Angela Fronti, a daughter of contadini and the energetic force of nature behind the Istine label.
Read my column on Angela and NewGen Chianti Classico Part 1 at winespectator.com, and stay tuned